JULY 19 UPDATE
After the lifting of restrictions across England on July 19, we will observe new government guidance while following the science and data to mitigate risk for visitors and staff.
Even if no longer legally required, we’re respectfully asking visitors entering the store to continue to wear face coverings, use available hand sanitisers and observe appropriate distancing, respecting the safety of fellow divers as well as our team members. Protecting our staff means we can stay open for you and continue serving you without disruption.
All UE staff will also continue to serve visitors wearing face masks and respect their personal space. Where closer interaction is required during a specific service such as suit and/or equipment fitting, we will insist on face coverings in line with our workplace risk assessment.
For sake of mutual safety and due to limited floor space, the maximum number of shoppers allowed in store at any one time will still be limited. We request divers only needing air and gas fills to help us avoid indoor congestion and wait outside where possible.
Screens separating staff from visitors at the till will remain in place alongside our regular disinfection procedures. The second floor and relevant facilities will remain closed to public access for rest of the year.
There is no planned change to our opening hours this season: The store will be open 5 days a week including weekends while online orders will be processed on-site 7 days a week. Our store and gas station opening times are 9-to-5 Friday through Tuesday – closed to visitors Wednesday and Thursdays.
While wishing you all a safe season above and under the water, we want to note that all of the above will be under constant review and subject to changes depending on the level of the pandemic, how this experiment works out and, of course, the behaviour of the whole community.
Safe diving everyone – the safest place to be is underwater!
PHASED OPENING AS OF MAY
Our physical store in Portland, Dorset is now open 5 days a week Friday through Tuesday 9am to 5pm. Gas fills are also available on those days. Please note that until further notice the store will be closed mid-week on Wednesday and Thursdays. All online orders via www.dirdirect.com and phone orders will continue to be processed daily 7 days a week by staff on site.
As social distancing and face coverings are still in force, given we have limited store space to allow for proper distancing, we will have to continue to restrict the number of people inside the store at one time to 6. We therefore request visitors who only need gas fills to wait outside and respect social distancing as we serve you.
We want to thank all our valuable customers for their cooperation and support in the period we have gone through and look forward to when we can all get back to closer to normality.
FAQ - Can I order online or by phone on your closed days?
Yes, of course. We have staff on site 7 days a week and will continue to process online and phone orders even on Wednesday and Thursdays when the store front and gas station will be closed to visitors. You can also email us your enquiries any day of the week as we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. In the immediate future there will be no store-based services on Wednesday and Thursdays, but we will continue to monitor the situation and will inform everyone of any changes both here and on our Facebook pages at www.facebook.com/underwaterexplorersuk
FAQ - What about social distancing, masks etc.?
Calssified as “non-essential retail” we will continue to implement any current measures to maintain a Covid-secure environment for your visits, in accordance with government guidelines. At current and until further notice or relaxation by the government we follow social distancing and face covering recomendations in store with hand sanitisers available for visitors on entry and exit.
FAQ - Is there any change with Online Orders?
No, as before (and even throughout the lockdown) we continue processing and shiping online orders 7 days including weekends and holidays with staff on-site every day of the week to deal with any email or phone enquiries. The only difference this year is our plan to keep the store front closed to visits Wednesday and Thursdays with no effect on stock take, shipments, online purchases and processing.
As always we will continue to put up Covid-19 upates on store opening hours and other developments on Our Facebook Pages.
Please read our Covid-Secure Measures prior to a visit:
– Social distancing rules remains in place in store
– Visitors are required to continue to wear face coverings/masks inside
– Visits for only cylinder fill and servicing will be handled outdoors
– If you display any symptom or have been in contact with anyone else displaying known Covid-19 symptoms, we request you cancel your visit
General Guidance for Visits:
The Store will be operating a “ring bell for entry” system as before to allow for required social distancing inside. At any given time a maximum of 6 visitors will be allowed into the centre for it to remain within Covid-secure arrangements due to limited floor space. Toilets and upstair facilities will remain closed. Visitors entering the premises will continue to be provided hand sanitiser on entry and exit. Store staff will continue to operate behind screens or wearing face masks.
The following poster will be visible outside as guidance for shoppers and those requiring cylinder fills:
Underwater Explorers is a Covid-secure workplace.