Returning to Freediving after Covid-19

The DAN Europe Medical Team has just issued new guidelines to determine Fitness to Dive after Covid-19, which represent consensus recommendations for returning to diving after Covid-19.

Considering that these recommendations are mainly developed for scuba and freediving puts higher demands on lung and heart function than scuba diving, instructors should use these as minimum requirements for freediving. It remains essential for anyone with health concerns or problems to be medically evaluated prior to diving.

Please read the full text from DAN in the link below, but as a brief overview, depending on the clinical manifestation of Covid-19, we can divide divers into 4 groups:

  1. Divers with asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic COVID-19. This means there was an absence of fever, cough, malaise, headache, and/or muscle pains. Wait at least 7 days from recovery before going back to diving. A medical check-up with a doctor is recommended if the diver does not feel they have regained normal physical and mental capacity.
  2. Divers with mild illness (symptomatic COVID-19, but no hospitalization and/or antiviral, antibiotic, cortisone, or heparin treatment was required). Wait at least 10 days from recovery before getting a clinical assessment by the family doctor or a Diving Medicine specialist. The assessment should consider the diver's age and any condition identified as diving risk factors.
  3. Divers with moderate illness or who have required hospitalization and/or antiviral, antibiotic, cortisone, or heparin treatment. The following diagnostic tests are recommended; an exercise test, spirometry, and diffusing capacity of the lungs test (further tests can be added at the discretion of the doctor).
  4. Divers with severe or critical illness. Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (CPET), is strongly recommended in addition to the above-mentioned tests.

Updated Fit-to-Dive Clearance Guidelines: