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air and cruise travel

The Ramifications After Reopening Aruba

Aruba is receiving visitors again. After an unprecedented and devastating lock-down, Aruba has reopened early July 2020 for arriving guests.

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Surfside Beach Aruba.

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Aruba is receiving visitors again, and yes, they are enjoying a well deserved vacation, including the sunset beers at the beach. Welcome back!

Amid the defeat of spreading the transmission of the Coronavirus locally, Aruba was completely free of the virus. No active cases, no hospitalizations, no lock-downs, no-curfews, no shelter-in-op-place, nothing.

Aruba was proudly basking in the COVID-19-free paradise it briefly became. The island is now dealing with the new realities after reopening.

Initially After Reopening

Starting July 1st, 2020, flights from Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean. Mid-July 2020 flights from the US resumed, too. Travel from Latin America remains restricted.

The first few weeks after reopening, barely any new cases were imported. Most arriving travelers tested negative. As the process is mostly based on trust, some visitors slipped through and managed to infect locals at a dance club. Clubs are now closed.

Situation Today

Fast-forward to today (as of writing), the number of active cases of infections to locals is creeping up towards 2000n.

The numbers for visitors shows a great picture. At the time of writing, there are below a dozen active cases, who are in mandatory quarantine. These special COVID-19 quarantine locations remain officially undisclosed.

4 Important Things To Know

Understand 4 things before you travel to Aruba.

1. Corona-light territory!

Aruba has suffered severely from the lockdown and stay-at-home orders. Our island is hit particularly savagely. Most small-island tourism-reliant economies have. Moreover, according to reports, Aruba is the most tourism-reliant in the Caribbean.

It goes without saying that locals are proud that after about 2 months and change Aruba became officially free of Coronavirus. It was short-lived, more importantly, it was sweet!

Please take the necessary precautions and make sure you don’t carry the virus! If you test positive here at the airport you will go into mandatory quarentine and your vacation is over. More about that below.

2. Mandatory Test Result and Insurance

Now that Aruba has reopened, there are new – be it temporary – entry requirements. These requirements are annoying by some, however necessary to keep Aruba COVID-19-light, for visitors and citizens alike.

It is mandatory to register on the website of Aruba Immigration, known as Aruba Online Embarkation/Disembarkation at https://edcardaruba.aw. This is similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). The US Department of Homeland Security requires some nationalities to complete the ESTA before US-bound travel.

The two main points you need to comply with, are:

  • Produce negative COVID-19 results, as long as they aren’t older than 3 days prior to travel.
  • Purchase the mandatory insurance.

In case that the test is not available back home you can take the test against a fee of $75 per test. Each person above 15-year-old needs to have a test taken. You will need to stay in quarantine for 24 hours. Afterward, you shall receive the results in your email.

The need or effectiveness of the daily insurance is under scrutiny and debated in tourism forums and on social media. For now, it is a requirement for entry in Aruba. Officials said they will review this in two months.

Looking at the few cases that were imported in the two months since restarting Aruba, in early September the island government announced that they are reducing the insurance premium with 30%. This is the first step into normalizing travel before vaccines become widely available.

3. Ramifications Should You Test Positive

What happens if you test positive for COVID-19 once in Aruba? For starters, airlines will refuse to take anyone back home if it’s known that you are carrying the virus.

In case you don’t need medical attention you will go into quarantine for 14 days at a special location COVID-19-location. After 14 days, you are free to go.

These locations are private vacation homes where you will be able to enjoy most amenities of a vacation rental property similar to the likes of an Airbnb or VRBO. You cannot abandon the premises and will be under the control of Aruba health officials.

The insurance covers these expenses, including repatriation costs if applicable.

4. Be patience

The procedures upon arrival are relatively new. Lines upon arrival at the airport are a common occurrence in Aruba pre-Corona. Now, you should expect longer lines.

It is mandatory for staff and customers to wear a mask indoors. Users of public transportation and taxis also need to wear a mask.

WELCOME BACK, FRIENDS!

The Coronavirus in Aruba is an ongoing event, the information is fluid. For the latest, please leave a comment below or use one of the following:

Categories
air and cruise travel

How Aruba Is Coping Without Income

Nearly three months ago, Aruba tourism industry was decimated virtually overnight. This means that Aruba’s only revenue source dried up. Multi-millions of dollars had evaporated in refunds that hotels and other operators had to issue.

New bookings have dried up and reports suggest that it will take years for tourism to recover to pre-pandemic levels. Consequently, as most countries in the world, Aruba is devastated.

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air and cruise travel

What To Expect Once Aruba Re-Opens

Now that it has dawned on most locals that Aruba is reopening, most tourism-actors are scrambling to get ready. Most tourism-related companies understand that only a fraction of visitors is expected. This is in comparison to pre-COVID-19 visitors’ numbers.

Actors

The lines are currently being drawn. Big actors such as resorts and casinos are getting ready. For example, Divi Resorts, Acqua Condo, and Marriott Resorts are preparing or finishing work for the grand reopening.

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air and cruise travel

Caribbean Re-Opening, Aruba Still Cautious

One after another Caribbean destination is unveiling their reopening plans. Some islands are planning for an opening in early June 2020. Meanwhile other are quiet on reopening.

Aruba is currently working with the tourism office and health department to work on a certification program. Reportedly they are following the recommendations according to the likes of the World Health Organization.

Most tourism service providers are currently trying the get the local certification. The local health department published some guidelines in our native language Papiamento.

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air and cruise travel

Ramifications Aruba Tourism Growing, Airlines Returning

As of writing, there is still no end in sight for COVID-19. There is no perspective on reopening tourism and resuming tourism jobs. The devastation continues to reap havoc among the local population.

The Aruba Minister of Economy declared that 80% of Aruba’s economy has been wiped away. Nearly three-fifths of the tax revenue collapsed and nearly 70% is unemployed.

Even though bookings have started to trickle in, it won’t do much for the labor force right now. Hotels meanwhile, keep a minimal staff on hand for security, maintenance, and other construction work.

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air and cruise travel

Why Airlines Are Eager To Come Back To Aruba

Everywhere there is news now about reopening. One country after another is announcing its reopening and is ready to get back to business. In the US there is talk of reopening. Meanwhile, Europe is announcing its intention to reopen all borders within the EU in June.

On the other hand, many hotel industry giants such as Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt are creating protocols to tackle the new reality. There will be widely different approaches between each hotel chain. The “correct” approach will manifest itself within the next few weeks.

Airlines are also eying restarting operations sooner rather than later. The industry has launched many ideas as to how to move forward. The key is to ensure the safety and health of its staff and passengers.

Categories
air and cruise travel Fundamentals miscellaneous

Aruba Announcing The Reopening Of Its Borders For Tourists

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.