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.
1. The Limestone Caves
The Limestone Caves of Andaman Islands is a must-try exploration for the travel enthusiasts. Baratang Island of the Andaman Islands is one of the places known for limestone caves. Particularly near Wrafters Creef, you can see deposits of limestone. There are more than 250+ big and small deposits of limestone, out of which only one is in the form of the cave opened for tourists to explore.
These limestone caves are a visual treat for travellers. It is formed over millions of years when various deposits of shells, corals, and skeletons underwent natural compression to form caves. Nestled within the mangroves and amid lush greenery, the limestone caves are lined up with stalagmites that hold the mystery of a million years of the Andaman Islands.
November to February is the best time to visit the caves in Baratang Island. The weather is pleasant, and there are low chances of rainfall. It is prohibited to go inside the caves after sunset. You are required to complete the whole trip in broad daylight for safety.
Few things to keep in mind while going for Limestone Cave expedition are-
Once your cave excursion comes to an end, you can stop by for a quick bite of cucumber and coconut water. You shall have to make your way to the jetty and take the speedboat into the mangroves, or you might choose to visit the mud volcano, which is another attraction of the Andaman Islands.
2. Volcano Tour
Volcano Tour is a major attraction for travellers visiting Andaman Islands. You get to observe lava from a distance and can cherish the experience. Tour operators will take care of your safety while you enjoy the volcanic expedition. Barren Island is the only active volcano, along the chain from Sumantra to Myanmar. It is situated in the Andaman Islands Sea and lies 138 km northeast of the capital city of Port Blair.
Barren Island is a part of the Indian Union Territory of the Andaman Islands. It is also recognized as a Submarine emergent Volcano lying above the subduction zone of India and the Burmese plate. As a recent phenomenon, Barren Island in the Andaman Islands has started erupting in 2018. Many people across the globe are coming to the islands to observe this phenomenon.
Its name is justified as it is a barren area unexplored and uninhabited by humans. A small population of goats, birds, bats, and a few rodent species such as rats are inhabitants of the region. Barren Island is under the restricted zone, and you require special permits to visit that place. The shared trip to Barren Island consists of fishing equipment, breakfast, lunch, snacks, juice, etcetera and is subject to weather conditions, government regulations along with the payload on the day of sailing. Night stay is not allowed at Barren Island.
Biodiversity of Barren Island
With a 2 km wide caldera, Barren Island is the summit of a volcano that can rise to 2250 meters from the seafloor. With 354 meters above the waterline, the volcano rises from a depth. The eruptions had reduced the number of bird species and their population.
A little bit of Adventure At Barren Island
The waters surrounding the Barren Island are known for living for being one of the world's top scuba diving destinations. On your way to the volcanic island, you can participate in different sports and other activities if you are travelling by a private charter. The exotic island is a travel paradise for advanced scuba drivers who visit the place to enjoy diving and witness marine life.
Because of the black bedrock of the island, it creates a perfect backdrop for richly coloured corals, sponges, and sea anemones. It reflects the richness of different marine species. This is what mainly makes underwater diving an enriching and unforgettable experience.
Is it safe to visit the Barren Island?
According to the Volcanic Explosivity Index (an Index that ranks explosivity of the volcanoes on a scale of 1 to 8), Barren Island is safe. The index, based on the quantity of volcanic material erupted, and its strength observed that the eruptions at Barren Island are stated as the lowest and therefore are safe to visit.
When someone thinks of the active volcano in India, then Barren Island is the name that pops up. On the extreme corner of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, this is the only active volcano in South-east Asia. To get to this beautiful island, you can either opt for a ferry or seaplane. Boarding a ferry will let you witness the spectacular view of the beautiful Islands. However, the seaplane ride from Port Blair is more preferred as you get to observe the aerial views.
3. Trekking Destinations in the Andaman Islands
There are various places of trekking due to its geographical peculiarities and abundant diversity of flora and fauna. Know that you will not encounter any dangerous animals while trekking in Andaman Islands, so you are in safe hands, in the lap of nature. These places are full of picturesque beauty and luscious forests. Here are some of the most popular trekking trails in Andaman Islands -
4. Water sports
Surrounded by the sparkling waters of the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman Islands are long fabled among leisure travellers for its diving sites and breathtaking locations. Water sports in the Andaman Islands is the most exciting activity for every water baby. From extreme water sports to smooth rides on turquoise waters amidst nature, one can never fall short of intrepid, and dauntless escapades in choices here. However, owing to its vast coastlines and the need to beat the summer heat, it is the scuba diving and snorkelling that stand out. In the popular and well-known destinations of Andaman Islands, one can expect to find all the mainstream water sports such as speed boat rides, banana boat rides, jet ski rides, sea walking, glass boat rides, kayaking, parasailing and more. While planning a vacation, remember to allocate a good measure of time on these above-mentioned activities for a once-in-a-lifetime sterling experience. Whether you are a novice, an intermediate, or an expert, there are enough choices for everyone.
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