Aruba Slowly Reboots Economy
The Prime Minister of Aruba says while the island is making progress in the fight against coronavirus, the Government will not let its guard down as plans are announced for slowly rebooting the local economy.
Rebooting the island’s economy started officially on May 4, 2020, and will happen gradually.
Certain non-essential companies that closed during lockdown will re-open, however, only 15 people are allowed in the stores, including employees.
Stores that are allowed to open are:
- clothing stores
- food trucks
- construction companies
- jewelry stores
- other business services that do not require close contact.
Restaurants, bars, beauty salons, barbershops, shopping malls, spas, and other close contact business services remain closed until further notice.
The gradual reopening of Aruba’s economy is aimed at reaching a balance between bringing commerce back to life while still promoting physical distance and proper hygiene measures to prevent the further spread of coronavirus in the community.
The government will move onto the next phase of rebooting the island’s economy after 14 days if the transmission of the virus remains low during the first start-up phase. This includes opening more stores and allowing more customers to enter establishments.
In case the virus continues to spread during this soft reopening of Aruba’s economy, the island may go back to certain restrictions.
Schools were scheduled to re-open on May 11, 2020, but will remain closed until further notice by the Minister of Education.
COVID-19 Exit Strategy & Economic Recuperation
Aruba’s 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), re-purposing the refinery, and several other private and public investments.
The new 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 working again, however under strict conditions to prevent the spreading of coronavirus.
Aruba Continues To Flatten The Curve
It’s been over two weeks and the island has only reported 1 new coronavirus case, and luckily several people recovered from the virus during this period.
This indicates that the local department of health has located most coronavirus cases with their testing strategy, case isolations, and contact tracing.
According to the Minister of Health, we have to continue to wear our masks to keep practicing social distance, and properly wash our hands along with other preventive hygiene measures until a vaccine is available for COVID-19.
Here’s the current status for Coronavirus cases in Aruba until May 6, 2020:
- Active Cases – 10
- Recuperated – 89
- Quarantine – 28
- Deaths – 2
- Tests – 1798
- Negative Results – 1697
Slowly Lifting Coronavirus Measures
The Government eased the current coronavirus measures after the island only recorded 1 new case after two weeks.
Curfew has changed from 9:00 PM – 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM – 5:00 AM.
Essential businesses are allowed to close until 9:00 PM (previously set to 6:00 PM).
Shelter in place and social distancing are still in effect.
Airport Reopening June 1, 2020 Seems Too Soon
The Prime Minister of Aruba took note of Aruba’s Airport announcement that they are preparing to restart operations on June 1, 2020, in case the Government lifts air travel ban in Aruba at the end of May 2020.
However, the Prime Minister said this was not a coordinated announcement, and that it might be too soon to reopen the borders by June 1, 2020. Furthermore, she said Aruba should agree on a shared path back to the reopening tourism and freedom of travel.
According to the Prime Minister, it’s unlikely that travel bans will be lifted on June 1, 2020, as announced by the Airport. But the Government is also not excluding this option, because its too premature to say what will happen in the upcoming weeks.
If the Government decides to lift the travel ban, it will be under strict conditions and protocols to prevent the importation of new coronavirus cases .
When exactly will travel be allowed? No one knows, until further announcement by the Prime Minister.
So can you book your trip to Aruba in June?
It’s a risk – the answer is most likely no. It’s best to wait on further details and instructions by the Government in Aruba.
Flights For Americans Stranded on ABC Islands
There are still a lot of stranded travelers in Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.
They are stranded on the islands after travel restrictions stopped them from boarding flights and traveling back home.
The government in Aruba announced that Spirit Airlines has an additional humanitarian flight service to help stranded visitors on the ABC islands to return safely home to the United States.
The flight is scheduled to depart from Aruba’s airport (Reina Beatrix) on May 10, 2020 at 1:00 PM.
Travelers stranded on Bonaire & Curacao need to fly to Aruba first with Divi Divi airlines.
After departing from Aruba, the flight will pick up additional passengers at Colombia Cartagena, and arrive at Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport.
Stranded travelers need to contact the US consulate on the respective island for additional information. If you are stranded on one of these islands, or know someone that is, ask for additional instructions by sending an email to [email protected]
Airlines Require Travelers To Wear Masks
Mayor US airlines companies announced that they will require travelers to wear face masks on board their planes in order to protect passengers and flight attendants.
Travelers are also urged to wear face masks or other face coverings in the check-in area’s, lounges, boarding gates, and onboard, except when a meal is served.
Airline crew members are also required to wear masks.
In order to fight the battle against coronavirus and other germs, US airlines are going to provide masks and sanitizing wipes.
The new measures by major US airlines are aligned with the recommendations from the centers of disease control and prevention.
In addition to implementing face masks requirements, airlines are also increasing the cleaning and disinfecting of cabins.
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.
Caribbean & Latin America First To Receive Cruise Ships
Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association announced that the Caribbean and Latin America, including Aruba will be the first regions to welcome cruise ships when operations restart.
The last cruise ship that was docked on Aruba was March 13, 2020.
According to the Director of Aruba Ports Authority, it’s difficult to say when exactly the first cruise ship will dock in Aruba again. But it’s estimated that the first cruise ship will arrive in Aruba around August or September.
Cruise associations say a lot of changes will occur before cruise ships are permitted to resume service.
Some changes have already played out during the coronavirus outbreak, and other changes will be more gradual. For example, stricter health screening before boarding ship, self service buffet could be gone forever, fewer cruise schedules, lower capacity of cruise passengers and crew members, and frequent cleaning and sanitizing inside the ships.
Watch Aruba’s Earth Day Video
Aruba Tourism Authority shared a special video of the island on Earth Day (April 22, 2020).
The video was made to promise Aruba’s visitors that they are welcome to travel to the island as soon as it’s safe to travel again.
It also features voices of 17 natives on the island explaining the beauty of the island through their eyes.
Watch the video and feel the warmth of the island, without having to be physically in Aruba.
Dream of the day you will step foot on the island again as you watch the video…
Sargassum in Aruba’s North Coast Beaches
A brown like seaweed, known as Sargassum, is floating in the waters in the Caribbean and drifting in large quarantines towards the north coast beaches in Aruba.
Sargassum is not only affecting the north coast beaches of Aruba but also many other islands in the Caribbean.
According to the department of nature and environment, the seaweed is only drifting towards the north coast of Aruba which has no direct impact on the beach users, and since it is a natural phenomenon it does not present any harm to the public health.
The pristine beaches we all love near the hotel areas are not affected at all, but only the beaches on the north coast of the island, where swimming is not allowed like Natural Bridge, Andicuri, and Black Stone Beach.
Scientists said sargassum originates between the coast of Africa and Brazil after studying satellite imagery and tracking the movements of the brown seaweed.
This region has a lot of nutrients that help the sargassum continue to grow.
The brown like seaweed is moving towards the Caribbean region through currents. And it makes its way along several islands, including Aruba.
Sargassum shouldn’t be a concern for you, because the Department of Nature and Environment is closely monitoring the situation and will remove the seaweed before travel is allowed again.
By the time you return to Aruba the seaweed will be all gone.
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