From 3rd August 2021 Tourism activities re-open in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In view of the steady decline in cases of COVID-19 in Andaman Nicobar Islands an order has been issued by the Director of Tourism Department today regarding reopening of all Tourism activities in South Andaman and North Middle Andaman District from today.
The tourists are allowed to visit Baratang/North & Middle Andaman subject to compulsory RAT testing for Andaman Trunk Road commuters which will be carried out at Forest check post on the spot / same day on payment of applicable charges
A negative RT PCR report has to be presented by all passengers on arrival.
General Guidelines defined for traveling to Andaman Islands during COVID :
What are the guidelines for testing for tourists coming to Andaman after August 03 2021?
On arrival at Port Blair :
1. The tourists need to carry COVID-19 negative test report from mainland based 1CMR approved lab using Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR). However, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken within 48 hours prior to starting the journey from the origin station. (For e.g. if the tourist takes a flight from Delhi at 0600 hrs. on 1st September, 2021, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken not before 0600 hrs. on 30th August, 2021).
2. The tourists/visitors on arrival at Port Blair airport have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 screening with RTPCR test free of cost. Thereafter the tourists/visitors are allowed to move to their respective hotels. However, they will have to be under quarantine at Port Blair in their hotel rooms until the result of RTPCR tests are received. In case of RTPCR positive test results, the tourists/visitors shall remain in
institutional quarantine in hotels notified by the Hoteliers Association in consent with the A&N Administration, on rates as specified or to the designated hospital/ Covid-19 care centre on case-to-case basis.
3. Tourists may also have to undergo random Rapid Antigen Test conducted from time to time on payment basis as prescribed by A8N Administration.
What if the tourists test positive after arriving at the Andaman Islands?
If the tourists tests positive during their stay in the Islands, he/she will need to undergo institutional isolation as per existing health protocols. The
cost of such isolation for govt. facility will be paid by the tourists as fixed by the administration from time to time.
If the patient wants to stay at hotels, he/she can stay in the hotels if all the conditions below are met:
a) Patients are not symptomatic and not more than 60 years old.
b) Request/ undertaking is made by patient in writing.
c)lf allowed by doctors.
Hotels will make necessary arrangements to designate a part of their rooms for institutional isolation for this purpose.
Imagine the opportunity to dive deep into the crystal clear waters of Andamans, swimming along with the fishes, walking on the ocean bottom, seeing the magnanimous marine beauty around you. And that's what Sea walking in Andamans would be like!
Home to more than 197 endemic marine species, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, situated amidst the Bay of Bengal, are a group of 572 islands, which are home to different wonders of the world. Be it Asia’s only active volcano, white sand beaches or colonial ruins, Andaman is an overall experience which will satiate your curiosity with history and also offer you the thrill of adventure.
Other than being famous for its local cuisines, and water sports, Andaman is one tropical paradise giving you open space to destress, and rejuvenate with its fun and adrenaline activities.
However, if you miss out on the opportunity to sea walk in Andamans midst the colourful and magnanimous marine species, then you have missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime!
What is Sea walking?
As the name suggests, sea walking translates in to walking on the ocean bed, feeling the soft sand under your bare feet, and taking in the vast flora and fauna of the marine world. This is one of the safest water activities in Andaman and highly rated by the tourists as must-try.
The sea walkers are provided with a helmet which has a transparent visor designed in a way so as to provide you with an unobstructed view of the flora and fauna and also help you breathe normally without any oxygen pump attached to your face.
The helmet is quite heavy, which pushes you down to the ground, but when underwater, the helmet feels like just a feather. The ocean bed will be 7 to 10 meters down, but don’t worry, the helmet will supply with the required amount of oxygen for the duration of your walk.
The oxygen in the helmet is provided by an oxygen tank which is connected to your helmet via a pipe. The oxygen tank is at the top of the ship, so you don't have to worry about the tank weight or the apparatus.
Why Sea Walk in Andaman?
The diverse marine life of Andaman is well renowned all around the world. One can experience the underwater beauty by taking a dive in the sea, snorkelling or by taking a sea walk.
Tourists opt for sea walking in Andaman as one does not need to know swimming for this activity. You can be as close to the coral reefs, marine animals as you can be during other water activities.
Anyone from the age of 7 to 70 can participate in this activity. Do plan your trip with experienced and certified professionals for a hassle free sea walking experience.
You would be able to get close to coral reefs, see the vast species and exquisite species of marine wildlife and it would be one of the most amazing things to encounter. The best part about this experience is that you can go either in a group or in private and get tons of pictures clicked with the fishes all around you!
Popular Places for Sea Walking In Andaman
Requiring a perfect setup, a safe environment and one of the best experiences is the topmost priority, so, sea walking activity in Andaman is provided in two places only.
Elephant Beach at Havelock Island
Surrounded by corals all across, Elephant beach offers you one of the majesticexperiences for water sports and activities, with sea walking being one of the best activities offered.
Havelock Island is located about 70 km away from Port Blair. You can either take a catamaran ferry that would reach Havelock in about 90 minutes or a government aided ferry service which would take about 2 to 2 and half hours.
North Bay beach at North Bay Island
Same as Havelock, North Bay beach too provides you with one of the best setups to walk on the ocean bed and enjoy viewing the breathtaking corals and marine animals along with your loved ones for company.
The North Bay Island is located about 43 km away from Port Blair. Tourists can either book a private boat or avail the ferry services provided by the government.
The cost of sea walking in Andaman across both the islands is more or less the same with minor variations depending on the tour package you select. The average cost of sea walking in Andaman is about 4000 rupees for a duration of 30 minutes.
The average cost might decrease if you choose to travel during the off season, due to fewer tourists. But, do remember water sports will be unavailable during the rainy season wing to rough seas and cyclone time.
Even though sea walking is safe, and you would have a guide holding your hand, it is important to take precautions for your betterment and safe experience.
So some of the basic do’s and don’ts of Sea walking in Andaman are:
Carry a set of clothes, as you will get wet.
Always hear and move with the instructor, don't poke, touch or disturb the harmony of the marine life.
Do check your apparatus before getting in the water.
Do inform the instructor, if you have any health conditions- Panic attacks, anxiety attacks, heart conditions, asthma, breathing issues, anything which can hamper your health during this activity.
Don't poke, touch the marine animals. Remember we are the guests in their abode.
Don't litter, always keep your belongings with you.
Do not feed the fishes.
In case, you are afraid of trying this activity, it is suggested that you try walking in shallow depths before moving to a 10 meters deep floor. However, safe it might be, it is necessary as an individual to be ready for this adrenaline rush moment.
But none the less, ocean walking in Andaman is one of the most unique experiences which you will cherish and remember forever.
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