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 July 29, 2020: Since the opening of Aruba’s borders for international travel on July 1, 2020, the following statistics are presented:
    29jul2020-eng.jpg
    Conclusion:
    – Aruba received more than 17,000 travelers in July 2020, the vast majority of which got themselves tested in their place of origin to officially prove their negative infection status within the strict 72 hours before travelling.
    – The remaining 4,089 travelers underwent the mandatory PCR test at the airport before entering the island.
    – Of these travelers tested at the airport, only 14 tested positive (all 14 were of course immediately put under mandatory monitored isolation).
    – Of these 14 positive-tested cases, 9 were non-residents (=tourists).
    – All currently active cases are travel-related, and are showing no or mild symptoms of the illness. Since the beginning of May 2020 to this update, there has been 0 community-spread cases detected on the island.

    Based on the above statistics, when it comes to this global pandemic, Aruba can rightfully be considered as one of the safest places on Earth.
  • 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 not mandatory in Aruba. And in case a traveler tests positive for Covid-19 infection, the same safety, health, medical and operational procedures are then applied as have already been proven to be effective for locals (= isolating, quarantining, contact tracing, etc.). Aruba together with the Netherlands nonetheless procured to have ample availability of medical staff, test capacity, ICU beds and equipment, designated isolation and quarantining accommodations, etc. to efficiently handle any possible new influx of the virus on the island.
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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.

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: July 29, 2020

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