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.
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.
Meanwhile, some restaurants are preparing as well. Some big names have collapsed or are collapsing, while other establishments are trying take-out for the first time.
Of the 200-plus restaurants in Aruba, there are a few well-known restaurants that won’t return. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has already claimed victims of the like of Taste of Belgium (this link won’t be live for too long after writing) that is shutting down permanently. For the ones who don’t know, this restaurant has a solid track record in Aruba and is highly regarded by patrons.
Tour-operators are also getting ready by finalizing maintenance and coping with the excess capacity in the activities sector. Probably you can expect better prices if you choose to do an activity.
It’s been a surreal experience having the island “empty” for the last couple of months. Many locals are wary of reopening the island, at the same time they understand that Aruba has no alternative. Literally.
Tourism officials are working to establish protocols as to how to deal with the new situation. They are probably seeking a balance between maintaining everyone safe while limiting the hassle for our guests to a minimum.
As of writing, Aruba is virtually free of COVID-19, consequently, health officials are keen to maintain it that way. They are also guarding this island’s health system against collapsing. Very much so after borders reopen.
Upon Arrival – 3 Layers of control
There are many wild suggestions going around as to how to go about it. For instance, our neighboring island is suggesting to put arriving guests from Europe on a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. This suggestion was categorically dismissed by the local political leadership as an option for Aruba.
Instead, upon arrival, there will be a few tests that are going to take place. 100% thermal gun will measure temperature. Should your temperature be elevated you will be isolated and checked thoroughly.
The check will consist of a rapid test for COVID-19. The results of the test will be within 1 hour and a half.
In case you test positive and don’t require hospitalization you will have to remain in isolation in a designated COVID-19 hotel locally.
Afterward, you will be tested repeatedly in the following days. When you eventually test positive you are released and will be allowed to return to your country.
The best two pieces of advice I can offer from Aruba is to have no flu-like symptoms upon arrival because it will probably ruin your vacation.
Purchase travel insurance that covers COVID-19 and related health issues before traveling. Some rumors are going around that this insurance may become mandatory.
Dining & Excursions
Tour operators, rental places, and restaurants are eagerly waiting for guests to start arriving.
The local health department is working with most actors to have a certification as to how to proceed with visitors going forwards.
Expect physical distancing, mouth covers, rubber gloves inside buildings. Outdoors, expect fewer restrictions.
The fact of the matter is that you are traveling to Aruba that is free of COVID-19 and it’s on everyone’s best interest to keep it that way.