Key information can be found on the Government website.
The health, welfare and safety of all members is an overriding concern for BSAC and it is recognised that the coronavirus outbreak, subsequent spread and associated media publicity can heighten awareness and concern.
BSAC continues to monitor current government advice to assess the risk as appropriate. We also work closely with other sports bodies including Sport UK and the Sport and Recreation Alliance in order to assure a considered and appropriate response.
Risk to divers and snorkellers
A coronavirus is a type of virus with typical symptoms including fever and a cough which may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Those at greatest risk from the virus would include those with weakened immune systems and long term conditions such as chronic lung disease, cancer etc. who are not likely to be within the diving and snorkelling population. Divers should, however, be considerate of any potential risk to other family members and close associates who have underlying medical conditions and act accordingly.
Taking precautionary measures during training
The general steps all individuals should take to protect themselves and others are the same as those to avoid flu and any other similar respiratory infections.
Divers or snorkellers exhibiting any illness including flu-like symptoms or who have been in close personal contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 should NOT engage in diving activities including training. Those who have recently travelled to or from a location specified in government travel advice should follow the relevant procedures for their risk category.
You should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene, and:
- wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water
- use hand sanitiser if unable to wash hands
- if you cough or sneeze use tissues to trap germs
- dispose of used tissues in a rubbish bin as quickly as possible
In-water rescue breaths
In the event of a serious incident whilst diving/snorkelling, the ability to provide initial in-water rescue breaths can be a significant contributor to a successful rescue. The training for this skill remains an essential training requirement for qualifications beyond entry-level.
Whilst the risk of transmission is very low we recommend that the training and assessment of in-water rescue breaths is not practised at this time without the informed consent of all participants involved. This will impact on the award of qualifications that include such skills training as they cannot be signed off until all required skills are completed.
Following Resuscitation Council advice, normal hygiene procedures should be maintained for manikins used for rescue breaths and CPR practice. All surfaces subject to direct personal contact (chest, forehead and face) should be thoroughly cleaned using disinfectant/alcohol wipes and allowed to dry naturally between each user.
Replace and dispose of manikin lungs and airways after each training session. Clean manikin heads with an appropriate surfactant/disinfectant solution after completion of each training session and allow to dry naturally.
Shared scuba and snorkelling equipment
All shared equipment should be washed and left to dry naturally after use. Where equipment, especially regulators, is subject to use by multiple users, such as during Try Dive sessions, then they should be cleaned using suitable cleaning fluid and then rinsed in clean fresh water before given to any subsequent user.
Alternate source (AS) training
Alternate Source (AS) techniques do not require the sharing of a single regulator. In use underwater, an AS mouthpiece will be regularly flushed with the surrounding water removing any potential contaminants.