ORANJESTAD (April 5, 2019) – Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island.

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Coronavirus: 9 Locals in The Hospital

Nine people are in the hospital due to Coronavirus infections in Aruba.

Two patients are in the intensive care unit, one is in the medium care unit and the other six patients are in isolation rooms.

Although they are in the hospital, the Prime Minister updated the island in a press conference, that they are in stable health and slowly recovering.

A total of 71 reported infections until today and 2 persons recovered from covid-19. (April 6, 2020).

The department of health in Aruba (DVG) has 5000+ COVID-19 PCR test kits available. These are the same tests used by the Center for Disease Control in the United States.

Over 700+ tests have been performed since March 13, 2020.

According to the Government, The Netherlands will send 42 intensive care unit beds including ventilators to the Dutch Caribbean islands.

Aruba, Curacao and St.Maarten will receive 12 beds each, Bonaire will get 6 beds.

latest news out of Aruba

The CEO of Aruba’s Airport Speaks Out

No flights are coming into Aruba anymore to prevent the Coronavirus from continuing to import on the island.

The airport is a vital part of the economy of Aruba, and management has decided to stay partly operational, but only for flights with important cargo or air ambulance flight for medical reasons, with approval of the Government and the department of aviation.

Aruba’s airport is in the middle of renovations with an expansion project called Gateway 2030. According to the CEO, Joost Meijs, renovations are going to continue, but in a safe manner.

COVID-19 remains an uncertain situation, if travel doesn’t pick up by December, additional protocols will be implemented at the airport.

Here’s a video message of Joost Meijs explaining everything…

The State of Aruba’s Economy

Local economist estimated that the halt in tourism is costing the island a minimum of 250 million florins a month, which equals, $143.000.000

Aruba’s Government is currently in negotiations with the Netherlands and USA to lend extra funds for the upcoming months, which are uncertain times for the island, even for the entire world.

This money will be used to help over 25.000 locals who stand to might lose their jobs related in the tourism industry due to the coronavirus.

Even if the island manages to combat Coronavirus, we still have to wait on our economic pillar, which is tourism to grow back to full potential.

The island depends on USA, Europe and the rest of the world to win the battle against coronavirus to restart its tourism.

How long will it take for the situation to get to normal?

No one knows yet.

International experts say travel can take until 2022 to fully recuperate to the levels of late 2019.

But travelers who love Aruba, are anticipating a quick recovery.

Thousands of users on Facebook post screen shots of flights tickets purchased for the 4th quarter of 2020.

If the situation is control by then, this could mean that tourism in Aruba could potentially bounce back faster than expected.

Easter Continues, But Camping Canceled

The Easter season in 2020 is going to be different with most of the world being in a lockdown. 

Aruba has a tradition to go camping on the beach during the Easter season, also known as Semana Santa. But camping season is canceled this year due to different measurements by the Government to combat coronavirus such as social distancing, shelter in place and toque de queda (curfew – from 9:00 pm until 6:00 am).

If there was no coronavirus outbreak worldwide, this week you would have seen families and friends setting up tents alongside Aruba’s beaches. 

Beaches such as Arashi, Eagle beach, Palm Beach, Surfside, Mangel Halto and Baby beach would have been dotted with tents and locals. 

Now we all have to wait until next year to enjoy the camping season. 

One thing is certain, coronavirus is not going to stop us from being grateful and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ in our hearts. 

Here’s a view of our camping spot at Baby beach last year.

Active Hurricane Season 2020

Coronavirus is on everyone’s mind right now, but more danger is lurking at our doors this year as meteorologists expect 2020 to be an active hurricane season.

According to experts at Accuweather, an avarage of 12 storms, 3 hurricanes develop in one season. However, this year they prognosticate an uptick in storms and especially hurricanes.

Hurricane season starts June 1 until November 30.

Aruba is located outside the hurricane belt, so chances are small that the island will be directly affected by hurricanes, but it can experience the effects of hurricanes that are nearby in the Caribbean.

Depending on the situaton hurricane season can create more rain than usual in Aruba, or higher temperatures than normal on the island.

The island has proven years after years that it’s a perfect place to getaway during the stormy season.

Hurricane Irma in Aruba 2019

Aruba Wins Banknote Of The Year Award

The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) selected Aruba’s 100 florin banknote for the banknote of the year award in 2019.

Over 100 banknotes were released around the world in 2019, and only 22 were nominated. Aruba’s banknote led the competition from the start, followed by competition between the Eastern Caribbean States Northern Ireland, Switzerland and Norway.

Aruba’s new banknotes were released on June 3, 2019.

The new banknote design took 7 years to complete, a complete redesign of Aruba’s banknote after 30 years.

The new banknote design features various artistic elements from Aruban culture, flora and fauna. It’s also one of the most secure banknotes with several security features to anti-counterfeit technology.

It’s also the first time Aruba participated in the IBNS competition. And the award-winning success is a template for other countries to consider when designing and promoting their new banknotes.

The new banknotes are eye-catching and beautiful.

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