Even though most stores will have already made significant operational changes, the DIAA wanted to pass on some practical suggestions which may assist dive stores stay open. In these uncertain times, we are here to support and assist where possible.
Despite daily changes regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), there are some basic practical changes stores can implement.
Hygiene standards have always been a priority but more than ever, stores need to be transparent about the frequency of disinfecting and cleaning procedures:
- Hand sanitisers readily available to staff and customers
- Daily sanitising of common areas i.e. showrooms, stock, classrooms and equipment areas
- Additional soaking of regulators and dive equipment with non-toxic disinfectant with extra time spent for regulators, masks and snorkels. Indeed, all hard surfaces where the virus might linger.
- Restricting courses and dives to small group sizes
- Limiting one customer at a time in any ‘gearing up area’
- Offering private course options for anyone wishing to complete their course while minimising their exposure to others
- Transport to and from dive locations to be capped to ensure social distancing measures are adhered to. If students can walk or get there themselves – please ask them to.
DAN has provided some cleaning guidelines if you have not already seen it, go here:
The general advice is 1.5m from each person.
Customers can come into the store, leave cylinders for air fills either at the store entrance or outside, to be collected by a staff member. Easy to keep the distance and provide service to customers with their own equipment.
Customers can order online or by phone and pick up clean rental equipment by a similar method – either with the gear being left in a safe place to be taken with the rental form & signed as it is taken.
Guided Shore Dives:
Divers can meet at the designated shore dive where it is easier to keep distances to 1.5m. Gear can be taken by store to the site. Exchanged, forms signed etc and taken away at the end of the dive.
Course numbers can be reduced depending on the space available – most theory can be done online.
Pool sessions, if you have your own pool or a shallow body of water to meet course standards, can be conducted with distance and numbers in mind.
Consider staggering course start times in order to keep the number of people at the store to a minimum.
Again space will dictate how practical it is for stores or charter operators to run their boats. Space requirements need to be met and with the new restrictions it may not be economically viable. This will need to be determined on a store-by-store basis
Many businesses have split staff shifts to silo any possible infection and enable the business to keep functioning if a staff member gets sick.
It might need a bit of re-organising but it is possible to keep doors open and divers diving and connected in these difficult times.
More resources can be found here: https://www.health.gov.au/resources
If you need any further advice please contact DIAA on [email protected]
And we will do what we can to assist.