A NOTE FROM THE EDITORLiving and diving in the
age of COVID
I’m writing this after 24 hours of air travel and layovers that ended at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. Whoever said ‘it’s the journey, not the destination that brings true joy to traveling’ obviously has not experienced post-pandemic international travel. The good news is that a broad range of destinations have opened their doors to foreign visitors, most locations have eased or eliminated quarantine and testing protocols for arrivals, and we might have seen the end of mandatory preflight PCR tests.

Meanwhile, some international carriers have continued to stick with the mask requirement for the entire duration of the flight, with the exception of meal service. That was the case for my Qatar Airways from Miami to Bali, and masking was also required during a layover in Doha, as well as in Denpasar while inside the airport.

Indonesia still requires travelers who have not got ‘The Jab’ to undergo a five-day quarantine, but I was able to skip that delay by showing proof of full vaccination. Until something else changes, possession of that little card will remain just as important as carrying a valid passport to enter the country.

Overall, the post-COVID travel landscape has certainly improved, and the truth of the matter is that COVID for the foreseeable future is here to stay, with new variants making the news every few weeks. Prior to my departure to Indonesia, there was BA.5, followed by BA.2 and BA.2.75 - names that sound more like a firmware update for your smartphone than a disease.

So, while international travel today is still a bit more involved than in pre- COVID times, it is once again possible to visit many of the world’s top diving destinations. Some might say that the quote I used as an opening line should be transposed to become ‘it’s the destination, not the journey that brings us happiness’, but I prefer a different motto, the old Roman proverb ‘audentes fortuna iuvat’ — ‘Fortune favors the bold’.

Walt Stearns, Editor (North America)
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Walt Stearns
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