The ongoing worldwide Covid-19 outbreak has undoubtedly begun to influence divers and plans for dive travel around the world. The World Health Organization declared the situation a pandemic on March 11th, and the Divers Alert Network (DAN) has issued some advice for divers when it comes to protecting ourselves when we travel and rent gear.
Rental Equipment and Covid-19
Of particular concern to divers is the use of rental gear when it comes to disease transmission. As with day-to-day hygiene, sanitary practices are paramount.
The Centers for Disease Control has stated that household cleaners “are as effective against COVID-19 as they are against the common cold and flu viruses.”
And, according to DAN, “equipment can be effectively sanitized by submerging it in a 10% bleach solution or using a cleaning product such as Steramine™ tablets or any other quaternary ammonium compound. Be sure to use these products according to the manufacturer’s directions and then rinse the gear with fresh water.”
If you’re a traveling diver and would like to take extra steps, DAN recommends bringing (or asking the dive shop for) sanitizing wipes to wipe out your regulator mouthpiece, snorkel, BCD oral inflator and the inside of your mask. Frequent hand washing and staying home when you’re sick will help slow the spread of the disease, and using your own gear when you travel will help provide peace of mind.