Following the issuing of its Covid-19 recommendations for dive operators, the Divers Alert Network (DAN) Europe has released a new Covid-19 medical declaration form, an addendum to the standard RSTC medical declaration many divers will be familiar with.
According to a statement on the DAN Europe website, all divers will be asked by their diving centres to complete the document ‘before undertaking any diving activity, from try dives to dive courses and programmes, dive excursions or explorations.’
‘While we’re working in close collaboration with RSTC (Recreational Scuba Training Council) and UHMS (Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society) on a revised version of the well-known Medical Statement,’ continues the statement, ‘we thought it would be useful to draft a sample of Health Declaration Form, which specifically addresses the COVID-19 emergency. We hope this will only be a temporary document, which does not replace but only complements the classic Medical Statement through the pandemic.’
As with the standard RSTC medical, the questions are simple Yes or No statements, where an answer in the affirmative will require consultation with a physician, preferably a specialist in diving medicine, prior to the participation in scuba diving activities.
The forms can be downloaded here but to summarise, the four questions are:
Within the 40 days immediately preceding the date of this Health Declaration Form, have you:
- Tested positive or presumptively positive with Covid-19 (the new coronavirus or– sars-cov2) or been identified as a potential carrier of the coronavirus?
- Experienced any symptoms commonly associated with Covid-19 (fever; cough; fatigue or muscle pain; difficulty breathing; sore throat; lung infections; headache; loss of taste; or diarrhoea)?
- Been in any location/site declared as hazardous with and/or potentially infective with the new coronavirus by a recognised health or regulatory authority?
- been in direct contact with or in the immediate vicinity of any person who tested positive with the new coronavirus or who was diagnosed as possibly being infected by the new coronavirus?
In addition, divers are asked to sign additional declarations that they will abide by any instructions issued by the instructor or dive centre to prevent the spread of Covid-19 such as, for example, wearing a protective mask at all times while participating in diving activities, if asked to do so.
The document also contains a list of medical recommendations, similar to those issued by the Belgian Society for Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, which include:
- Divers who have had symptomatic COVID-19, should wait a minimum of TWO months, preferable THREE, before resuming their diving activities.
- Divers who have tested positive with COVID-19 but have remained completely asymptomatic, should wait ONE month before resuming diving.
- Divers who have been hospitalised with pulmonary symptoms related to COVID-19, should, after a three-month waiting period, undergo complete pulmonary function testing as well as a cardiac evaluation with echocardiography and exercise test (exercise electrocardiography) to ascertain normal cardiac function prior to their return to diving.
You can download the original forms from the Divers Alert Network Europe at this link.