On Friday, May 8th, 2020, Aruba leadership announced the opening of its borders for visitors. The so-called soft opening should commence somewhere between the second week of June to the beginning of July 2020.
After having announced a significant drop in active COVID-19 cases in Aruba, they announced the tentatively reopening of the borders for inbound travel.
The timeframe between the announcement of the government’s plans and the actual reopening maximum of 8 weeks.
These weeks are going to be crucial for local officials to draw up plans customized to the realities on the ground in Aruba. Tourism officials now will need to define how Caribbean travel is going to look like. This is for the time being while vaccines are on the way.
Plans have been suggested by hotel chains, airlines (IATA), and governments.
The details of the logistics as to how they are going to handle arriving guests locally is unknown. What we know so far that behind closed doors experts are working on plans and are also taking cues and learning how other countries are dealing with the reopening.
As of writing, there are no new directives issued towards airlines. These directives are public and anyone can see them in the Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) lists. The current restrictions on inbound flights are still in place and are set to expire on May 20, 2020, mid-night.
Some hotel chains elsewhere in the Caribbean are also announcing the reopening of their properties.
Tourism heavy dependent Greece has also announced the reopening of the tourism industry for next month.
Turkey has also a big reliance on tourism and they, too, have announced the reopening of the tourism industry next month.
Locally there are several people concerned with the impending reopening of the tourism industry. They feel there are still too many unknowns.
Once more, Aruba is virtually free of the virus as of today and I’m sure everyone wants it to stay that way.
Personally, I receive many comments from readers who expressed their concerns about reopening too soon. They caution against reopening too soon and importing the virus again.
The Prime Minister’s team is managing many things at the same time and have the weight one fact against another.
Reportedly, there are pressures from the tourism sector to reopen, from the labor side there is also pressure to reopen but safely. International airlines are also inquiring about reopening dates.
The medical sector calls for caution against importing new cases.
On YouTube, I found a video made by an aviation enthusiast about how he thinks travel is going to look like in the near future. It is an interesting video that you can see below.