Late May 2020 local health officials declared Aruba COVID-19-free. Since the first case in mid-March, it took about 2 to have no more official cases.
Most restrictions have been lifted and people go about their lives. As much as possible, while most tourism jobs are wiped out due to the ban in arriving travelers.
As of writing the only restrictions currently still in place in Aruba are the distancing measures, obligation to disinfect hands upon entrance in public spaces, and all establishment need to close by 10 PM. The last rule will be lifted before the borders reopen.
Without the risk of getting the virus locally, I noticed locals not be too concerned anymore. People go about their daily lives almost like in the old days.
Most establishments do have the disinfectant at the doors and the stickers on the floor to keep distance but aren’t as strict as before.
Meanwhile, health officials keep insisting via media campaigns to adhere to the measures and the borders are reopening soon.
It seems that the government is working on a specific set of objectives. Should new cases appear again in Aruba, officials don’t want to submit the island again to devastating shut-down.
Instead, officials seem to be working on having the infrastructure is in place to be able to manage the virus, and keeping the risks of infection to locals and visitors to a minimum.
People are craving to further normalcy, especially during the nighttime. As all establishments need to close at 10 PM, some groups organize tailgate drinking sessions near the beaches. Every time the police arrive at the scene and ask the participants to go home, after which people comply peacefully.
Some readers have asked me what to expect once they arrive here in Aruba. Firstly, as soon as you leave the airport you will enjoy the crisp and clear old-fashioned arid Aruba climate. Lots of sun and wind.
Expect a lot of hand-sanitizing and distancing from other people not in your party. Don’t expect to see many people wearing face covers outside hotels and restaurants where that probably will be mandatory for staff.
You will enjoy a lot of room everywhere. Pools, restaurants, beaches will be wide open. Keeping distance from other travelers at the beginning shouldn’t be a problem.
Only 2 in 10 visitors – in comparison to pre-coronavirus numbers – will visit Aruba this summer. This is before the normally busy winter season, which won’t be that busy this year either.
The notorious early morning fights for beach chairs won’t be a factor as a result. This amount of visitors is probably equal to maybe 4 decades ago.
Expect never seen before clean seafloor, crisp beaches. At least more than usual. There are new roads, not as much traffic and clean streets.
Lastly, expect to see grateful natives, happy welcome you back to our island.