Measures Aruba has taken to minimize COVID-19 impact

What measures has Aruba taken to avoid, prevent or minimize the influx or spread of the coronavirus into its population?

The proper handling of the coronavirus threat cannot be done without taking strong measures. Aruba is one of the very few small-island communities in the world that have quickly – already since the end of February 2020 – taken aggressive actions to prevent or minimize the foreign influx of the COVID-19 virus into their relatively small populations. Introducing such far-going measures rapidly is a much greater challenge for larger countries. Thus, the rapid and aggressive actions taken by the Government of Aruba, thereby making good use of its small-island’s advantage in this case, should be surely applauded and are now proven to be effective. After the inevitable influx of the virus by travelers around mid-March 2020  and shortly thereafter the subsequent lock-down of its borders: As early as the beginning of May 2020 till June 28, 2020, with ongoing testing Aruba has registered no (= 0!) additional cases of COVID-19; the total count of cases remained at 101 since the lock-down of its borders to that date, proclaiming Aruba temporarily as a Covid-free country. Globally, the pandemic is still ongoing and with the re-opening of its borders, the re-influx of the virus on the island is inevitable but now more controllable and better prepared for.

Prestige hereby informs travelers that, as per the last update of this publication (see date at bottom of this article), Aruba is facing the coronavirus threat by having the following measures in place:
  • The Government of Aruba provides several times per week updates of the coronavirus situation in Aruba through live nationally televised and social media streamed press conferences 1.
  • As a result of the controlled situation of coronavirus spread on the island, on April 28, 2020 the Government of Aruba announced a slow release of the previously imposed local ‘virus-constraining’ measures (e.g. shelter-in-place, curfew, closing of businesses, etc.); the island releases local measures in 4 phases starting as of May 4, 2020.
    Each of the first 3 phases comprise a 2-week period (Phase 1: May 4 – 17; Phase 2: May 18 – 31; Phase 3: June 1 – 14) where during each phase more categories of businesses are consecutively allowed to reopen, and more restrictive social measures are released. The continuance to the next phase depends however on the effect that the previous phase has on the public health situation and on the overall coronavirus infection and spread on the island 1.
  • On June 10, 2020, the government of Aruba officially announced that the country will reopen its borders (= Phase 4!) and once again welcome inbound travel from certain countries, including from sister islands Curacao & Bonaire (on June 15th), from Canada, Europe and most other Caribbean islands (on July 1st) and from the USA (on July 10th).  Official opening dates for other markets, including the Dominican Republic, Haiti, South America, Central America and Mexico, have yet to be determined.
    Note: The government of Aruba has imposed strict traveler health requirements for entry into Aruba, in order to as much as possible avoid new influx and outbreaks of the coronavirus in Aruba that has ‘proven’  to be a very safe, a rather popular, but also an inherently vulnerable island 2
  • Concurrently with the announcement of the reopening of Aruba’s borders, the Aruba Airport Authority published on its website (which will be continuously updated with) all information about those airlines from various countries that have already scheduled their flights to Aruba 3.
  • On May 19, 2020, the Aruba Tourism Authority introduced a stringent cleaning and hygiene certification program that will be mandatory for all tourism-related businesses and service providers across the island. This certification is paired with a multi-color seal (= pre-inspection certification) or a gold-color seal (= post-inspection certification) that must be prominently and visibly displayed by/at the as such certified business or service provider 4.UPDATE November 23, 2020: After the re-opening of Aruba’s borders for international travel on July 1, 2020, during the first two weeks of August 2020 Aruba has experienced a locally contained outbreak of the virus. Contact tracing quickly determined that the outbreak originated at a local bar/nightclub that simply did not adhere to any of the known and mandatory guidelines of social instancing and mask wearing in enclosed areas.  Meanwhile, by applying strict and effective measures, Aruba has reduced the level of infections back to very low numbers, thus meriting that on Thursday, November 19, 2020 the island is once again internationally categorized as ‘code yellow’; this is the ‘safest’ category in international coding regarding countries with Covid-19 infections, second only to those countries with reported zero local transmission.
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    Main touristic conclusion on the above data:
    – To indicated date, Aruba received more than 160,000 travelers since July 1,  2020, the majority of which got themselves tested in their place of origin to officially prove their negative infection status within the strict 72-hour window before traveling.
    – Those travelers who did not get or provide a negative test before traveling, 51,300 persons to be exact, underwent the mandatory PCR test at the airport before entering the island, about 90% of which were non-residents (=tourists).
    – Of these tourists that were tested at the airport, only 281 tested positive (and all 281 were of course immediately put under mandatory monitored isolation in an accommodation paid for by the Aruba Visitor’s Insurance Policy).

    – Of these 281 positive-tested tourists, 261 already recovered to healthy condition, thus tested negative again and were released from isolation; thus leaving only 19 non-residents that are still actively positive and in isolation on the island, but unfortunately also 1 death of a tourist that tested positive upon arrival at the airport of Aruba (contagion of the virus occurred off-island).
  • Travelers are kindly requested to – during their stay in Aruba – abide by the precautionary measures of social distancing and personal hygiene as imposed by the government, which measures are simply based on the WHO guidelines, the USA’s CDC guidelines and the guidelines of the Dutch National Institute for Health and Environment (RIVM). Note: Wearing a mask in public is now mandatory in certain stores, offices, enclosed spaces and public transportation in Aruba. Since the outbreak, wearing a mask are mandatory in enclosed (indoor)  bars, restaurants, offices etc. and in places and businesses where social distancing guidelines cannot be adhered to.
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  • Supplementary to its high standards of quality and cleanliness, Prestige Vacations Aruba has since June 2020 introduced new and strict protocols of health, safety and hygiene at all of its operational locations, thereby fully complying with the ‘Aruba Health & Happiness Code’ as certified by the Aruba Tourism Authority 5. On November 16, 2020, following an on-site inspection by the Department of Health of Aruba at all its resort locations, Prestige Vacations Aruba (and all of its affiliates) was certified with the Gold Seal of the Aruba Health & Happiness code: 

Sources:

  1. ArubaCovid19.org – Official website by the Government of Aruba concerning the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. Aruba Traveler Health Requirements – Official advisory web-page by the Aruba Tourism Authority concerning coronavirus-related health requirements upon the reopening of Aruba’s borders for tourists.
    New Services and Policies – COVID-19 – Concise summary for our guests of the most important and relevant travel prerequisites of Aruba in general, and of thereto related Prestige services and offers in particular.
  3. AirportAruba.com – Official website by Aruba Airport Authority (ATA) concerning the scheduled flights of certain airlines to resume Aruba-bound service as of June 15, 2020 onward.
  4. Aruba Health & Happiness Code – The new ‘Aruba Health & Happiness Code’ (AHH code) certification will help ensure the safety and well-being of Aruba’s visitors and locals.
  5. List of businesses in Aruba with AHH code – Official list published by the ATA of businesses that are certified and may thus use/display the AHH code seal.
This publication is compiled and updated by
Prestige Vacations Aruba
Last Update: January 29, 2020

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