As the world begins to gradually reopen, we are looking forward to welcoming our diveaholic family back to the dock. We promise to do our best to ensure your well-being and safety as we find our way through and past the coronavirus pandemic. We have enhanced standards of safety, protocols, procedures and guidelines which will address our new reality. We have considered all the angles and want to realign your expectations as we navigate the unpredictability of COVID-19.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has created a new Tourism Gold Standard (TGS) Recognition Program to reduce the risk of COVID-19. This program is made specifically for accommodations, restaurants and tour operators (that’s us!) to enhance health and safety standards. By adapting these behaviors and procedures Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop is certified as a Tourism Gold Standard tour operator. That means we can welcome international guests to enjoy our tours.
It also means that all international guests have to book their accommodation at a Tourism Gold Standard certified property.
Bottom line: You have to be booked at a Tourism Gold Standard accommodation and use Tourism Gold Standard tour operators. The BTB is working closely with the Government of Belize to ensure the laws and phased travel re-opening plan to international guests align with the new Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program. This phased plan comes with varied restrictions so it is important you understand them before you book travel to Belize.
NOW, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
If you would like to book diving, snorkeling or fishing with Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop you must have a reservation at an accommodation with Tourism Gold Standard certification. We’ve received our Tourism Gold Standard tour operator certification so together with your accommodation you’re going to have safe and awesome time!
For us to receive our certification we’ve had to adopt enhanced protocols, procedures and guidelines that the BTB and the Ministry of Health (MOH) have put in place. If you’ve hung out with us before, be prepared for a few changes. If you are new to Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop, you’re in good hands.
Before you do anything else visit: http://www.travelbelize.org/health-safety
Belize Tourism Board COVID-19 Update:
For an approved list of Gold Standard accommodations:
For an approved list of Gold Standard tour operators:
BOOKING DIVING, SNORKELING OR FISHING
Book with us by phone, email or contact us from the BOOK NOW tab on website. We’ll arrange your tour and send you a booking and authorization form to complete in advance. You’ll be asked at the time of booking what TGS accommodation you have reserved. You’ll also need to know a little about each person in your tour including their first and last name, mobile phone, email, emergency contact name and mobile phone, gender and age.
WHAT TO EXPECT
If you are staying at a TGS accommodation with a dock you will be picked up by your tour guide by boat at a scheduled time. If your TGS accommodation does not have a dock you will be brought to the Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop dock by the TGS accommodation or Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop vehicle. Unless you live here then we know you’ll find your own way to the dock.
You’ll be asked to wear your face covering and practice 6ft physical distancing until your boat departs either dock.
To adhere to the TGS tour operator certification, we will complete a temperature and symptom check and ask for your Belize Travel Health app unique ID number to record in our Tour Health Log. This means you’ll need to have your phone on hand. We’ll offer hand sanitizer and sanitize your personal belongings and gear with an eco-friendly spray. After a shortbriefing as to what to expect throughout the tour, including a review of our COVID-19 risk management policies, you’ll be invited aboard and we’ll and depart for a great day on the water.
You’ll see smaller group numbers on the boat and for dive instruction. We’ve taken disinfection and sanitization up more than a couple of notches with increased frequency, using EPA approved and eco-friendly products.
If you have a private tour and plan to bring your own snacks, lunch and beverages, those are your responsibility and must be brought with you at the time of departure. Boats will be fueled and ready to go and once departed are not permitted to stop anywhere other than the TGS accommodation dock, so all provisions must be with you once you leave the TGS accommodation or Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop dock.
At the conclusion of your awesome day you’re returned to your TGS accommodation or Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop dock. This is where your face covering goes back on and 6ft physical distancing comes back into play.
The following policies are in effect from the time any person enters the Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop office, dock or vehicle:
The following protocols are in effect during the tour:
MANAGING THE RISK OF COVID-19
Our staff have received enhanced training in new protocols, procedures and guidelines to help reduce the risk of COVID-19. Staff will have a temperature and symptom check recorded upon arrival to prepare for their tour at the Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop dock. They will disinfect and sanitize the boat, equipment and gear using EPA approved and eco-friendly products, adhering to the enhanced procedures developed by Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop, upon the advice of the BTB and MOH prior to departure and upon their return.
Staff will prepare tours wearing a face covering and disposable gloves while disinfecting everything from boats, equipment, gear, provisions and anything else you may come in contact with during your tour.
Hand and gear sanitizer and a COVID-19 kit including a thermometer, N95 and surgical masks and disposable gloves are onboard. In the event of a symptomatic suspect COVID-19 case, we have developed a response plan for every scenario to ensure you are cared for immediately, following the advice of the MOH.
Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop will provide your tour guide with all the information they’ll need to make sure you have the best day ever. It is your tour guide’s responsibility to reinforce our COVID-19 policies and procedures throughout the tour to help everyone keep safe.
Each guest will have their own gear assigned as needed so as to not share. Personal belongings and gear will be sanitized by your tour guide before brought aboard the boat.
FOOD + BEVERAGE PROTOCOL
Water bags and sliced fruit for dive and snorkel tours and diving surface intervals are prepared by a dock hand wearing a face covering and disposable gloves. Sliced fruit is handed out from a tray using thongs. Water bags are washed in advance of being stocked in a dedicated guest cooler, whether on the dock or boat these too are handed out. A five-gallon jug will be available on the dock for you to fill your water bottle. Snacks, lunch and beverages are your responsibility and should be brought with you at the time of departure for private tours.
All waste will be disposed of by the individual (this is a nice way of saying, please clean up after yourself), gathered and sealed on the boat and/or on-site and disposed of adhering to waste management protocol.
WASTE MANAGEMENT PROTOCOL
A waste and recycling bin or bottle crate are on board each boat. All provisions, bins and/or crates will be disinfected where possible (ie: bottles, water bags). Empty bottles and/or bags and food waste and/or packaging are deposited individually (please clean up after yourself). Bins will be lined with a waste bag and discarded of at the end of every shift, tour or when full. Bottles in crates for return will be disinfected. In the event of a suspect COVID-19 case waste will be double bagged and recycling will be discarded.
WHAT TO BRING
Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop offers pick-up and drop-off on Ambergris Caye at TGS accommodations with a dock from north (Coco Beach) to the south (Victoria House) by boat. If you are staying further north or south or on the lagoon side a transportation fee roundtrip per boat will apply.
If you are at a TGS accommodation without a dock, transportation by a TGS accommodation vehicle must be arranged for drop-off and pick-up. Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop can offer vehicle (golf cart) pick-up and drop-off as far north Coco Beach Resort and south as Victoria House Resort. Further north or south there is a roundtrip transportation fee. In this phase of re-opening to tourism we are not allowed to pick you up from the closest dock to your TGS accommodation - it’s all in an effort for the BTB and MOH to manage and limit wandering and the spread of COVID-19.
The Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop vehicle will have best practices signage displayed, hand sanitizer and a COVID-19 kit, and the Tour Health Log during guest pick-up and drop-off. Face covering is mandatory for all passengers throughout transport.
DEPOSIT + CANCELLATION
At Chuck + Robbie's Diveshop we operate on a good faith principal. In general, we do not ask you to make a deposit to secure your reservation or booking with us. That said, we do reserve the right, and we may or may not require you to make a deposit, if it’s an extremely busy time of the year (ie: around Christmas and New Year’s). If we do ask you to make a deposit there will be a good reason for it.
All bookings that require a deposit, and any cancellation of that booking must be made in writing by email. FOR BOOKINGS THAT HAVE PAID A DEPOSIT, all cancellations made less than 48 hours before the reservation, by you, between the dates of December 20th and January 3rd are non-refundable. Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop reserves the right to augment the cancellation policy in the event of a COVID-19 situation.
CANCELLATION DUE TO WEATHER
No one can predict the weather, if Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop has to cancel due to weather or fault of our own we’ll try to reschedule, otherwise there will be a full refund.
Credit and/or debit card information will be collected using an authorization form and entered manually. Receipts will be emailed. Full payment is due at the time of the activity.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you do not behave in a way which causes offense or a danger to others, including the spread of COVID-19, or which risks damage to property. In such circumstances Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop has the right to terminate the tour, in which Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop will not be liable for any refunds or reimbursement of expenses incurred as a result. Further, you will be liable to reimburse Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop for any expenses incurred as a result of such behavior.
Guests of Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop may be subject to temperature and symptom checks, self-isolation, quarantine, adhering to the Belize Travel Health app, cancellation fees, fines and/or penalties for not obeying the MOH and/or Government of Belize laws at an additional cost to the guest. Chuck + Robbie’s Diveshop will not be held liable
Copyright © 2020 Chuck & Robbie's Diveshop - All Rights Reserved.
more to come...