Will Travel To Aruba Be Possible June 1, 2020?
The Prime Minister announced that restriction for commercial air travel in Aruba will be extended until May 31, 2020, until further notice to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Despite this announcement, Aruba’s Airport Authority says it is preparing for a possible restart of regular operations, depending on the Government’s final decision to reopen commercial air travel to and from Aruba.
Aruba’s Airport is ready to receive air traffic as of June 1, 2020, if the Government suspends air travel on May 31, 2020.
The restart plan by Aruba’s Airport has 4 phases, which include procedures and processes that ensure welcoming visitors in a safe and controlled manner.
Here are the restart phases outlined by the airport:
- Pre Restart
- Soft Restart
- Close To Normal Operation
- Business As Usual
Related Article – How To Plan & Travel After Coronavirus Ends
The pre restart phase already started since April 23, 2020.
Only important cargo and legal residents of Aruba that are approved by the local department of Aviation are exempted from travel restriction during the pre-restart period.
The soft restart phase will begin on June 1, 2020 – but only if the Government lifts travel restrictions.
During the soft restart, visitors are welcomed, but only in small volumes. Preventive measurements will be applied, such as entry, travel, and health requirements requested by local and international authorities, airlines, and the Aruban Government for travelers upon arrival.
Additional measurements that will be implemented at the airport are:
- Signage to guide passengers, personnel and other airport users in social distancing
- Transparent shields will be placed on check-in desks
- Queuing areas will be marked for social distance
- Corridors will be changed to one way traffic
- The way you pick up travel gear at the luggage belt will change
These following measurements will allow the airport to safely handle passengers and scheduled commercial air traffic.
If these new measures lead to a safe and controlled operation during the soft restart phase, the volume of visitors will be scaled up towards close to normal operation and business as usual in the future.
These 4 phases allow the airport to adapt and make necessary changes based on knowledge and experience from the previous phases, as well as learn lessons from other airports around the world which are further in their commercial air travel process.
According to the CEO of Aruba’s Airport – “It is hard to predict at this point in time when business, as usual, will be reached, but it can take a long time. We have a response plan in place to pick up operations step by step, which is in compliance with all travel and health requirements, while we wait for the Government’s announcement to reopen Aruba’s borders”.
The restart of Aruba’s Airport also depends on other factors, such as when airlines will start with flights, and how far countries like The United States and Europe are dominating coronavirus.
When travel will be allowed again is hard to determine, but let’s hope you are welcome back to Aruba as of June 1, 2020.
Recovery Plan For Hotels in Aruba
Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association recently announced expectations for the hotel occupancy in Aruba.
Their expectations are based on the fact that Aruba and other countries reopen their borders back in June 2020.
The reopening of tourism in Aruba and visitors to hotels is based on different factors, including but not limited to:
- How visitors are affected financially world wide
- If countries are able to get the virus under control
- The number of seat airlines can offer to Aruba
The hotel association projects that occupancy in Aruba accommodation is going to gradually grow, starting with 15% by June, if borders open by then, and slowly increase to 55% by December.
Here’s a view of their monthly trajectory for occupancy in hotels:
- June – 15%
- July – 30%
- August – 35%
- September – 40%
- October – 45%
- November – 50%
- December – 55%
A lot of businesses in Aruba depend on tourism for revenue, but with the projection of hotel occupancy falling under break-even point, many businesses will be operating at a financial loss during Aruba’s tourism recovery period, until the situation normalizes.
The sooner the world gets the coronavirus situation under control, the better it will be for all of us, including tourism in Aruba.
Airlines Search For New Ways To Travel Safe
The coronavirus outbreak made everyone, including airlines, rethink the way life is lived as usual when it comes to safety and health.
Now the airline industry is facing new challenges to secure the health of travelers when it comes to air transportation.
How can the spread of coronavirus, or other germs be stopped?
Italian aircraft interior designers manufactured a concept seating solution to make travelers sit safely close together. It’s a glass safe middle seating that creates an isolated volume around passengers to avoid or minimize the spread of germs between occupants.
Calling it “Janus” seats, it features a middle seat positioned in the opposite direction, while passengers seated on the side seats are faced in the forward direction.
This seat layout allows all three passengers to be separated with a transparent shield that isolates them from each other, even protecting passengers from people walking through the aisles.
Janus seats are conceptual and need to be approved by the Air Transport Associations before they can be implemented by airlines.
Coronavirus Update in Aruba
Here’s an update on the current coronavirus cases in Aruba (last update 25 April 2020):
- Positive Infections – 100
- Active Cases – 29
- Recuperated Patients – 69
- Deaths – 2
The transmission of the virus has declined dramatically on the island, registering only 4 new positive cases in the past 14 days.
According to the Health Minister of Aruba, the curve is not totally flattened, but the island is well underway to beat COVID-19.
He also says that the island is ready to launch a drive-thru testing for coronavirus. However, this testing site will only be inaugurated if the current testing capacity exceeds 120 tests per day, which is not yet the case.
3 Possible Candidates For Blood Plasma Therapy
According to local Nephrologist Dr. Za Choudhry, 3 patients who recovered from Coronavirus in Aruba are candidates for donating their blood that contain antibodies to patients who are still infected with COVID-19.
This is part of the “Aruba-COVID Study” to treat critically ill patients in the hospital diagnosed with coronavirus.
Aruba-COVID study is an investigation to use blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. The research is based on the successful treatment using blood plasma of recovered patients of diseases in the past, including Spanish flu, MERS, and SARS.
The transfusion of plasma is set to happen next week and will prove if it is effective in treating coronavirus in critically ill patients.
More Flexible Prevention Measurements
Aruba plans to ease prevention measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.
According to the Prime Minister, prevention measurements such as curfew (toque de Queda) and shelter in place could be eased end of April 2020.
This means that curfew may be adapted (currently 9:00 PM – 6:00 AM) – it is not yet known to which timestamps the curfew will be changed.
Stores that have adjusted open and closing times may stay open for a longer period to stimulate the economy.
The lockdowns on non-essential stores could also be partially lifted, allowing orders online or through the phone and delivery to clients around the island.
All prevention measures are valid until April 28, 2020, until further notice by the Government.
COVID-19 Exit Strategy & Economic Recuperation Phase
The Prime Minister announced that Aruba is entering its economic recuperation phase after the coronavirus crisis seems under control.
The recuperation phase starts with stabilizing and stimulating the economy. This includes subsidizing local companies to help their employees survive the current crisis.
Projects that were halted in the midst of the outbreak will be on a fast track to restart. This includes the development of the medical cannabis economy, construction projects (Resorts like St.Regis, Secrets Resort & Other tourism-related constructions), repurposing the refinery, and several other private and public investments.
The future of Aruba’s economy will focus on several factors, but not limited to:
- Circular economy
- Future of work
- Food security
- Energy security
The first step for Aruba’s economy to restart is for commerce to start again, people to work again, however under strict conditions to keep the chance of spreading the virus.
All stakeholders in the tourism industry are currently working on a Tourism Recovery Marketing Plan.
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