Latest COVID-19 travel requirements

Latest COVID-19 travel requirements

Travel requirements and the collation of documents has always been the unpleasant bureaucratic side of taking a diving holiday. This has become even more true in the age of a global pandemic. Rules are complicated, ever-changing, and often counterintuitive. To try and help you navigate your requirements as you plan your trip, we have collated all the information in one place for all our destinations.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that we provide the following advice as advice and a starting point only. In the current climate, information and requirements are changing constantly, often with little or no notice at all to us. We try to keep on top of this and provide the most up to date information we can, though this will not always be possible. All guests are responsible for ensuring that they meet the current advisories and entry/exit requirements for their chosen destination.  This is also the case for the return home to their country of origin following the cruise. 

The Bahamas

Operating now. Open with restrictions. Last update: 8th October 2021

All travellers must have a Bahamas Travel Health Visa. Information on application can be found here.

Latest travel updates from the Bahamas Tourism Official Website: COVID-19 Travel Updates

Testing requirements: Vaccinated travellers
  • International travellers are required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test (either a Rapid Antigen Test or PCR), taken no more than five (5) days prior to the date of arrival in The Bahamas. The name and address of the lab where the test was performed must be clearly displayed on the test result.
  • All fully vaccinated travellers wishing to travel inter-island within The Bahamas, including Bahamian citizens and residents, will be required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test (either a Rapid Antigen Test or PCR), taken no more than five (5) days prior to the date of travel from the following islands: Nassau & Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, Bimini, Exuma, Abaco, and North and South Eleuthera, including Harbour Island.
  • At this time The Bahamas Government will only be accepting vaccines by Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.  Mixed and matched second doses of COVID-19 vaccines of either AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or even Johnson & Johnson are also accepted.

 
Testing requirements: Unvaccinated travellers
  • Travellers entering The Bahamas and/or those travelling inter-island within The Bahamas from Nassau & Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, Bimini, Exuma, Abaco, and North and South Eleuthera, including Harbour Island, must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR (swab) test taken no more than 5 days prior to the date of arrival. Test must return a negative result for entry into The Bahamas.
  • Negative PCR test results must be uploaded in order to complete a Bahamas Travel Health Visa application, and must be presented upon arrival in The Bahamas.
  • Any person presenting test results older than 5 days will not be allowed entry into The Bahamas.

Exit requirements:

  • We recommend that you check your home country entry requirements before going on holiday.
  • Some countries require a negative RT-PCR test or Rapid Antigen Test to return home. Testing facilities are available but may vary depending on your itinerary.

Your Cruise Director will discuss testing requirements with you on board. Rest assured that we will ensure you get the testing you need to return home. Be aware that if you require a RT-PCR Test to return home, you may need to spend 24 hours in Freeport following disembarkation to allow enough time for test results to be received.

Galapagos

Operating now. Open with restrictions. Last update: 8th October 2021

All travellers entering Ecuador by air must present a Traveller`s Health Declaration, which can be found here.

Latest travel updates from the Official Website of Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism: Travel Safe in Ecuador

Entry requirements: Ecuador
  • International travellers arriving from any country, unless travelling from or via India , must present a Negative RT-PCR Test result taken with 72 hours before travel OR a Vaccination Card issued at least 14 days prior to arrival showing they received the complete series of the specified COVID-19 vaccine.
  •  International travellers arriving from or via India must provide a Negative RT-PCR Test result taken with 72 hours before travel, AND a Vaccination Card issued at least 14 days prior to arrival showing they received the complete series of the specified COVID-19 vaccine. They must also self isolate for 10 days.
 
Entry requirements: Galapagos 
  • All passengers older than 2 years old, regardless of their residence, must present a Negative RT-PCR Test result taken with 72 hours before boarding their flight to Galapagos from mainland Ecuador.
For guests who are either travelling within Ecuador prior to their domestic Galapagos flight, or for those whose PCR test will have expired before boarding, we are able to organise testing in both Quito and Guayaquil. Please contact your Master Liveaboards reservation consultant, or your dive travel agent, for assistance and pricing.

Be aware that there are extremely rigorous checks undertaken before flying from either Quito or Guayaquil to San Cristobal. An airline representative will meet guests outside the terminal building to check COVID Test Certificates. The certificate alone is not sufficient, they also need to see the email showing either the attachment, or a link to the lab results website. This information is then sent elsewhere, before permission to enter the airport is given. The process to enter the terminal can take around 30 minutes. Several more checks of your COVID Test Certificate are likely. All luggage is ozone treated at the entry points to the airport. Upon arrival in the Galapagos, luggage is further sprayed with a liquid disinfectant, and passengers required to stand in a disinfectant tray.

Exit requirements:

  • We recommend that you check your home country entry requirements before going on holiday.
  • Some countries require a negative RT-PCR test or Rapid Antigen Test to return home. We have secured testing facilities depending on your requirements
    • Antigen Test  (3 Hour result time) 80 USD per person
    • RT-PCR (14 to 24 Hours) 160 USD per person
Testing is carried out on arrival in either Quito or Guayaquil. Due to the waiting time on results, please discuss your requirements either with your agent or with your Master Liveaboards reservations consultant prior to confirming your return flight. 

Thailand

Operations begin October 15th. Open with restrictions. Last update: 8th October 2021

All travellers who wish to enter Thailand without entering state quarantine must enter via the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ scheme. At this point, transit via Bangkok is not permitted. All travellers who have been fully vaccinated must stay in Phuket for 7 days before they are allowed to leave the island.

All travellers wishing to enter must obtain a Certificate of Entry (COE)  via the official COE Thailand website. Please visit the Royal Thai Embassy’s website for full requirements in order to obtain your COE. Please allow AT LEAST 6 working days for your approval process.

Entry requirements: Phuket Sandbox 
  • Negative RT-PCR Test with a result 72 hours or less before travel.
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, with the second dose administered at least 14 days prior to departure.
  • Health insurance which covers all COVID-19 related medical expenses in Thailand, to a minimum of $100, 000 USD, for the duration of your stay in Thailand.
  • Confirmed air ticket with direct flights to Phuket. remember, transits via Bangkok are not allowed at this point.
  • SHA+ hotel booking confirmation for 7 days. Please ensure your hotel provides you with a ‘SHABA’ certificate as confirmation.
  • Certificate of Entry (COE, see above)
  • All travellers will be required to undergo an RT-PCR Test at the airport on entry to Phuket, as well as another on day 6 or 7. This is booked and paid as part of your COE process and will be arranged by your hotel.

Exit requirements:

  • We recommend that you check your home country entry requirements before going on holiday.
  • Some countries require a negative RT-PCR test or Rapid Antigen Test to return home. Testing facilities are available but may vary depending on your itinerary.
  •  

Your Cruise Director will discuss testing requirements with you on board. Rest assured that we will ensure you get the testing you need to return home. Be aware that if you require a RT-PCR Test to return home, you may need to spend 24 hours in Phuket following disembarkation to allow enough time for test results to be received.

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