Every year on March 18, Aruba celebrates its national holiday. This year, all official festivities and parties were banned, however, many locals held unofficial get-togethers as it is tradition. This was undoubtedly a superspreader day.
In anticipation of what’s to come, last weekend the local COVID-19 Task Force held a press conference where mostly “warnings” were issued to the local population. No concrete numbers were mentioned, neither a specific mention of new drastic measures.
The current measures remain or were scaled up slightly.
Last week I went out on the 18th to pick up some food and I personally saw many people out and about. The expectation is that the active cases are to increase exponentially in the next few days.
The information during the briefing that was given on that day, was not as clear as it should have been, at the times contradictory. To make matters worse, the decrees are in Dutch.
On social media (where else) there was some consternation about two major points. Incorrect news on those platforms suggests that Aruba may be going into lockdown. The other news is in regards to the maximum allowed guests at a table in a restaurant.
As you can see on the title, as of writing there is no decision to lock down Aruba. To be honest, this is extremely unlikely to happen. The cases are growing among locals, which infection happens around family circles. Shutting down Aruba wouldn’t help lower the counts. Again, the counts among locals probably will rise significantly, and some additional restrictions should follow, but not a total lockdown.
In terms of restaurants, the official decision as it appears on the Task Force website is as follows:
Was: Indoors: 4 people max a table | Outdoors: 6 people max at a table
Change: 2 people max at a table*
Exception: People living in the same residence can sit 4 at a table (indoors) and 6 (outdoors).
Some visitors are understandably upset as they would clarification how it’s going to work in reality. For instance, if you belong to the same household or hotel room, you should be able to eat together. On the other side, how are restaurant staff going to be able to police this?
As e result of the commotion, officials offered clarifications and stated that groups from the same household/room can sit together, with a maximum of 6 people at a table. Children 12 and younger do not count to the total at the tables.
One last word of advice, please do NOT take the information on social media as fact, instead, I recommend you access proper, official local sources. Visit the official Aruba COVID-19 website and the official Aruba Tourism website for the latest information.