Aruba prepares to reopen to international travelers with increased safety protocols.
ORANJESTAD, ARUBA – The Government of Aruba announced the country will officially reopen its borders and once again welcome inbound travel for visitors, from Bonaire and Curacao on June 15, the Caribbean (with the exception of Dominican Republic and Haiti), Europe, and Canada on July 1, 2020, followed by visitors from the United States beginning July 10, 2020. Official opening dates for other markets, including South America and Central America have yet to be determined.
The decision to reopen borders, which were closed due to COVID-19 restrictions in early-March, was made in conjunction with the Department of Health and took into consideration the ongoing guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States.
"The safety and well-being of our residents and visitors is our highest priority. As we prepare to reopen our borders, Aruba has put in place advanced public health procedures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 on the island," said Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes. "We have taken careful and deliberate steps to assess the current situation and make certain it is as safe as possible and appropriate to begin the reopening process."
Aruba considered a range of factors in the reopening decision-making process, including:
- Local Containment: An aggressive response to identifying and managing potential cases of COVID-19 was impactful and reduced the effect on Aruba.
- Gradual Easing of On-Island Restrictions: As conditions improved, restrictions on the island have been carefully rolled back without significant concerns.
- Stringent Health Standards in Place: New health and safety protocols have been implemented island-wide, with a heavy emphasis on tourism and hospitality businesses to ensure visitors feel safe.
Each year, more than a million visitors come to Aruba from all around the world. Like many destinations whose economies are driven by tourism, reopening borders is a critical milestone and ushers in a "new normal" for the time being.
Travelers will be required to follow a new embarkation and disembarkation process to enter the country. Mandatory travel requirements will soon be available on Aruba.com.
"While there will be some necessary adjustments, our visitors' Aruba experience will still have the essence of One happy island," said Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, CEO of Aruba Tourism Authority (A.T.A.). "We are confident in the measures we have taken as Aruba is once again Open for Happiness."
The Aruba Airport Authority has worked with the Department of Public Health and followed World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines to implement numerous measures such as screening, capability to PCR test visitors upon arrival, temperature checks, on-site medical professionals, social distance markers, additional shields and safeguards, mandatory PPE training for all staff, and more.
In addition to social distancing, Aruba is placing temporary capacity limits on some of the more popular tourist destinations to decrease the flow of visitors at peak times in more heavily trafficked areas, without limiting overall access.
Protecting Our Visitors – 'Aruba Health & Happiness Code'
Recently, the Minister of Tourism, Public Health and Sports, together with the Department of Public Health and the Aruba Tourism Authority introduced a new safety and hygiene program in partnership with key private sector stakeholders. The 'Aruba Health & Happiness Code', which outlines stringent cleaning and hygiene standards, is mandatory for all tourism-related businesses throughout the country. This protocol will ensure tourism businesses adhere to the strict guidelines for health, sanitation, and social distancing protocols. Each business will go through a checklist of new rules and regulations on how to operate in a COVID-19 world. Upon completion, businesses will be inspected by the Department of Public Health and receive a Code Gold Certification once approved.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.