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