The Easter weekend is traditionally seen as the ‘start’ of the British diving season – for those who are not hardy (or stupid, according to others) enough to dive all year round – but in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic still wreaking havoc across the country and everyone in lockdown, divers are being warned to heed Government advice to stay at home and not to go out diving.
While the Easter break might normally be the signal for everyone to get away for a well-deserved holiday, this weekend everyone from sailors to tourists is being told to stay close to home for their exercise – and that includes divers.
Pete Mizen, Assistant Director of Coastal Operations for HM Coastguard, said: “Leisure diving is not essential. What divers need to remember is that if they get into difficulty, and the Coastguard is called, that creates a greater degree of risk for us and our service. Every 999 call made could put our frontline responders at risk of COVID-19.
“It would also put avoidable strain on the NHS services at a time when it could least afford it. We’ve been told that decompression chambers are currently running at reduced levels during this challenging time. You might think nothing will go wrong while you’re out, but there is no guarantee that it won’t.”