Aruba’s borders are still closed for most of the world, except Bonaire and Curacao.

July 1, 2020, marks the date that visitors from Europe, Canada, and the rest of the Caribbean can visit Aruba (except Haiti & Dominican Republic). The USA can start to visit Aruba as of July 10, 2020.

The countdown is reaching its end, and Aruba is ready to kickstart tourism.

Are you ready to visit Aruba and enjoy the island life you’ve been dreaming about for a long time?


When & Where Airlines Resume Aruba Flights

The CEO of Aruba Tourism Authority shared a list of major airlines that confirmed their flights to Aruba as soon as the borders are officially open in July. 

Here’s a list of airlines that confirmed their flight schedules to Aruba:

  • JetBlue
  • Spirit Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • TUI
  • KLM
  • Air Canada
  • SouthWest (in November)

Here’s when the first flights are scheduled, and from which departure destination:

  • Jet Blue (New York, JFK) – As of July 10, 2020
  • Delta Airlines (New York, JFK) – As of July 10, 2020
  • American Airlines (Miami) – As of July 10, 2020
  • Delta Airlines (Atlanta) – As of July 10, 2020
  • JetBlue  (Boston) – As of July 10, 2020
  • United Airlines (New Ark) – As of July 10, 2020
  • American Airlines (Charlotte) – As of July 10, 2020
  • Spirit Airlines  (Fort Lauderdale) – As of July 10, 2020
  • JetBlue (Fort Lauderdale) – As of August 2, 2020
  • United Airlines (Houston) – As of August 8,  2020
  • United Airlines (New York) – As of August 10, 2020
  • American Airlines (Dallas) – As of October 10, 2020
  • Southwest (Baltimore) – As of November 1, 2020
  • American Airlines (Philadelphia) – As of December 17, 2020
  • Delta Airlines (Minneapolis) – As of December 26, 2020
  • Sun Country (Minneapolis) – As of December 26, 2020
  • KLM (Netherlands) – As of July 5, 2020
  • TUI (Netherlands) – As of July 11, 2020
  • Air Canada (Toronto) – As of July 18, 2020
  • WestJet (Toronto) – As of August 8, 2020
  • Avianca (Bogota) – As of September 1, 2020
  • Wingo (Bogota) – Date still pending
  • Copa (Panama) – Date still pending

By now you have already booked your flights to Aruba, or you are waiting for the coronavirus situation to clear up even more before you book your first trip.

Here’s a glimpse of what Aruba has to offer as soon as you can travel again to this side of the Caribbean…

What You Should Know When Aruba Opens It’s Borders


What’s New in Aruba

Aruba’s pristine beaches have been off-limits for international tourists since mid-March

The island is prepared and ready to welcome you, how are you planning to kickstart the grand opening?

There’s a myriad of things to do on the island, including but not limited to… 

Visit Our Beloved Animals

Phillips’s animal garden is open again.

If you and your family are looking for something to do while on the island, check out some of our animals.

Reopened since May 15, 2020, with all the necessary precautions, the private animal sanctuary welcomes its visitors again.

Founded in 2009, it’s the only place on the island that rehabilitates and rescues exotic animals in Aruba.  

Open every day from 9 AM – 6 PM, you’re welcome to see a variety of wild animals such as kangaroos, monkeys, alligators, peacocks, snakes, rabbits, alpacas, eagles, and many other species of creatures.

Social distance rules are in place and no large groups are allowed. 

Check Out The Donkeys 

Aruba has its own donkey sanctuary. 

It’s one of the only places where visitors and locals can go to help the volunteers take care of these animals. 

This includes feeding, cleaning, and taking care of donkeys.

Open from 9 AM – 4 PM, you are welcome to give a helping hand to one of the most beloved animals on the island for free.

Aruba trip report

This donkey is so cute.

New Hotel Experiences

Hotels and other accommodations in Aruba are reshaping guest experience.

They have come up with detailed operational plans on how they plan to welcome guests back to their properties and how they strive to secure their guest’s and employees’ well-being.

One of these plans is the health & happiness code implemented by the Aruba Tourism Authority.

A golden seal prominently displayed on a business’s doors to indicate they have done everything possible to keep their property coronavirus free.

What You Can Do in Aruba

Boardwalk Aruba

One of many boutique hotels in Aruba, Boardwalk Small Hotel, is offering its guests a new experience.

The boutique hotel recently revamped and expanded its capacity to 46 rooms on the property.

What can you expect when staying at the boardwalk?

  •  Health & Safety Procedures
  • Mobile check-in
  • Touch-free services
  • Clean sealed pool chairs
  • Flexible cancellation policy 

There’s a lot more to experience at the newly renovated boutique hotel…

The New Boardwalk Aruba Hotel

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort

The island’s adults-only resort is also ready to welcome couples to enjoy a romantic stay on Aruba.

Bucuti has added new health and safety protocols to its operation as a response to coronavirus.

This includes a four week mandatory and documented training for all staff members.

Guests can now pre-register at the hotel online from home.

The rooms will be completely sterilized using advanced technology, including an ultraviolet portable area sanitizer.

Seating at the resort’s food & beverage area is expanded and spaced for safety. 

All other additional guidelines and safety measures at Bucuti rely on social distance, sanitation, single-use, and touchless guest experience.

Penthouse Suite at Bucuti

Pelican Adventures 

One of Aruba’s boat trip experiences, also known as catamarans, is ready to welcome you aboard. 

Pelican Adventures sails again as of June 19, 2020,  with new safety protocols advised by the public health department and tourism authority. 

To celebrate the grand opening, the adventure boat is offering special prices on sailing & snorkeling cruises, and sunset cruises. 

Restaurants & Bars

The best food and drinks are waiting to be prepared and enjoyed at Aruba’s finest restaurants and bars.

Recently open again, with new social distance and health guidelines, including but not limited to: 

  • 2 meter spaced seating between tables
  • New menus on walls or apps
  • Smaller diner crowds

Although coronavirus has introduced new rules for eating out, the food & beverage industry in Aruba plans to wow its guests again with spectacular dishes and the best drinks.

Here’s a list of restaurants and bars that are already open (not a complete list, but only a few recommendations):

  • OAK
  • Perla D’Italia
  • West Deck
  • Cafe the Plaza
  • Lucy’s
  • Zeerover
  • Local Store
  • Bugaloe
  • Moomba Beach
  • Gusto
  • Craft
  • Hamaka
  • Oxygen Lounge


Single-Use Plastics Officially Banned As of July 1, 2020

As of July 1, 2020, the Government ordinance will go into effect to ban single-use plastic in Aruba.

The Government made the decision to ban the use of plastic bags in 2019 but has now also included a ban on single-use plastic.

Here’s a list of single-use plastic products that will be prohibited to use on the island:

  • Styrofoam containers
  • Cutlery, styrofoam cups, plates, stirrers, and straws
  • Bags to pack fruits and vegetables.
  • Bags with handles used for carrying
  • Releasing balloons & plastic confetti into the sky

It’s banned to import, manufacture, sell, offer and use the list of plastic products above.

Not all single-use plastics will be banned immediately, there’s a list of plastic products that are exempt of the ban until further notice, including but not limited to:

  • Plastic products in medical use
  • Package wrappings for cold cuts and raw meat
  • Plastic food packaging used by local food manufacturers

Banning the use of plastic bags and single-use plastic is important to the island and the environment. It will also benefit the island’s marine life, especially the sea turtles that visit Aruba every year to nest.

Dangerous Sunblocks Banned in Aruba


Restoring The Staircase To Hooiberg

One of the highest landforms in Aruba, known as Hooiberg (Haystack) is set to receive an upgrade.

A local construction company will renovate a part of the existing staircase used by visitors to climb the 165-meter formation. 

It takes about 550 steps to get to the top of Hooiberg. Climbing this mountain is a good exercise and the view from the top is rewarding. 

Did you already climb Hooiberg?

You can see a 360 view from the entire island.

Hooiberg is not the highest point in Aruba, the highest elevation on the island is Jamanota at 188 meters.

Construction works at Hooiberg will start June 22, 2020, and will take a week to complete.


The New Pier at Rodger’s Beach

Rodgers beach is getting it’s old pier back, with new moderns add-ons.

The new pier is part of the beach beautification project in San Nicolas announced in 2019 by the Government.

According to the Tourism Minister, the size of the new pier is 29 square meters, including a large platform next to it that can be used to jump in the water or simply to sunbathe. 

As soon as the pier is completed within 6 weeks, the project is set to continue with an infrastructure upgrade, new beach huts, additional parking spaces, new courts for sports (volleyball, soccer, and tennis), restaurants, bars, and bathrooms at both Baby and Rodgers beach.

Here’s a view of the pier at Rodgers beach back in the old days of Aruba…

Rodgers beach in its glory days…

More tourists will be geared toward this side of the island, because of the renovation and upgrading of Baby beach, Rodgers beach, and the addition of a new hotel. 

San Nicolas has a lot to offer, another view of Aruba, culture, arts, food, and beautiful beaches. 

There’s truly a lot to do here on this side of the island. 

When in San Nicolas, visit the Tourist Information Center close to the central bus station for guides on what to do.


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Aruba officially announced it’s reopening its borders for visitors, however, there are strict requirements in order to enter the island. 

The borders are gradually opening to countries, welcoming visitors from neighboring islands first.

Here’s when you will be able to visit Aruba, depending on which country you’re from:

  • June 15  – Bonaire & Curacao
  • July 1 – Canada, Europe, Caribbean (except St.Domingo & Haiti)
  • July 10 – USA
  • South & Central America remains closed until further notice

Key points you should know about before you board your flight:

  • Travelers must fill in Embarkation-Disembarkation Card (mandatory) 3 days before boarding airplane
  • Upload COVID-19 test results while filling in ED-card (optional)
  • Required to wear a mask during your flight
  • Mandatory COVID-19 insurance (15$ per day per person)

The first requirement to visit Aruba is filling out an Embarkation-Disembarkation Card (ED-card) 3 days before your flight. 

This ED-Card has several requirements. 

All visitors are asked to complete a self-health declaration form, upload COVID-19 test results (optional), and purchase a mandatory Aruba COVID-19 insurance (15$ per day per person).

When filling out the ED-Card you can choose to upload COVID-19 test results proving you are negative for the virus.

If you do not upload a coronavirus test result when filling out your ED-Card, you have to take a mandatory coronavirus test upon arrival at the airport that costs 75$.

The ED-Card also asks you to agree with the following requirements:

  • Cooperate with all the health screening and testing as indicated by the public health authorities in Aruba upon arrival and during your stay on the island, including isolation & quarantine.
  • Agree to quarantine while you wait for results if you test for COVID-19 at the airport. 
  • Agree to follow instructions by public health authorities in Aruba including but not limited to isolate or quarantine if tested positive for COVID-19 (at the airport, or during vacation). 

Aruba is waiting on you…

When will the ED card be available?

The website to fill in the ED-Card will be launched on June 25, 2020.

About Aruba’s Mandatory COVID-19 Insurance

Aruba’s Tourism Authority and the Government are striving to accomplish the best package options regarding the mandatory COVID-19 insurance on the island.

They are taking into account guests that have their own insurance coverage, longer stays, for several weeks or months, while still delivering the coverage for guests that have a shorter stay on the island.

The details of this health insurance coverage is still currently being worked out, and any updates regarding this matter will be announced by the Government and Aruba’s Tourism Authority before the borders officially open.

What happens when you arrive in Aruba?

All visitors will be subject to 100% testing, this includes checking temperature and coronavirus symptoms, a short interview by on-site doctors, and a mandatory COVID-19 test if you haven’t uploaded a negative test result while filling in your ED-Card 3 days before the flight. 

Visitors who take a test for coronavirus at the airport, must quarantine 24-hours inside their accommodation and wait for results. 

If you test positive for coronavirus, you will be asked to check out of your resort and isolate at an accommodation designated by Aruba’s Tourism Authority.

In case your results are negative, you are at liberty to move around the island.

If you uploaded a negative test result when filling in your ED-Card 3 days prior to your flight, but you get infected with coronavirus after and show COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival at the airport (or while in Aruba), you are subject to retake a test, and if you test positive you will have to go into isolation at a designated accommodation.

What if you show symptoms of coronavirus while on vacation?

So you uploaded a negative test result prior to boarding your flight, or you tested negative at the airport for coronavirus. But what if you start to show symptoms related to coronavirus while on vacation?

In case a visitor notifies the hotel of COVID related symptoms, the staff will direct the guest to their room, and a representative will contact a private clinic in Aruba to assist you over the phone.

While on the phone, the medical professional will ask health-related questions to determine your health state.

If you do not meet the criteria for testing, the medical professional will advise the next steps you should take. However, if you do meet the criteria for testing, a specific date and time will be appointed for you to test at a diagnostic center on the island.

When the criteria for testing are met, visitors must follow health and safety regulations, which includes taking their belongings, get transported for testing, and isolate at a designated location to wait for results. 

The visitor’s travel companions will be advised to quarantine inside the accommodations pending the suspected person’s test results, which will be confirmed within 48 hours.

If test results are positive:

The visitor with coronavirus will remain in isolation at the designated accommodation until recovered. Medical follow up will be conducted throughout the isolation and quarantine process. 

Once the visitor recovers and tests negative for coronavirus, they can resume their vacation or depart the island.

If test results are negative:

The visitor will be allowed to return to their resort and the travel companions will also be released from quarantine.

Important information for travel companions in Quarantine

If someone you have traveled with is suspected to have coronavirus, you will not be allowed to accompany them to the test center. 

You’d have to quarantine inside your accommodation until results are known.

Travel companions of a confirmed case will need to check out and will be placed into quarantine at designated locations for 14 days.

The quarantine period restarts each time a new case is discovered within the group.

Travel companions not showing any symptoms of coronavirus can either stay in quarantine in Aruba, at a designated location or choose to depart the island.

If travel companions of a confirmed case develop coronavirus symptoms while in quarantine, they will also be transferred to a test center and wait in isolation at designated location pending results.

can you imagine yourself here?

Aruba’s Airport Cleared for Landing

The normal operation at Aruba’s airport is going to be different due to the coronavirus situation.

Here are key points when at the airport, all taking careful consideration of social distancing rules and hygiene:

  • At the check-in terminals, only 140 passengers will be allowed entry to provide social distance between travelers, previously the check-in area was packed with travelers. 
  • Only 34 travelers can stand in a row for security checkpoints.
  • Only 105 passengers are allowed to stand in a row at the immigration checkpoints when entering Aruba, previously this area had a capacity of 500 passengers.
  • Travelers have to follow direction markers on the ground. 
  • Hand Sanitizers are strategically placed at the airport

Key Points regarding entry requirements at Aruba’s Airport: 

  • requirements for entry in Aruba due to coronavirus are always subject to change depending on the progress made on the island. 
  • Always stay up to date for announcements made by the Government regarding new requirements to visit Aruba.

Here’s a view of the airport at the moment, showing you what you can expect when arriving and departing the island…

The immigration hall when upon arrival…

Check in area outside the airport

inside the check in area

The seats at the boarding area…

Clear 4 Landing Video

Here’s a video showing you what you should expect when going through Aruba’s airport, and a message by the Tourism Minister and CEO of the Airport.


Renaissance Aruba Resort Covers COVID-19 Insurance

If you choose to stay at Renaissance Resort & Casino they will cover the cost of Aruba’s 15$ per day per person COVID-19 insurance. 

The resort will cover insurance cost (15$ per person, daily) by deducting it from your room rate when you book your stay. 

This offer is available between August 31, 2020 – March 31, 2021, and can be canceled 24 hours before arrival.

Other accommodations will also be offering this convenient deal. 

The official list of accommodations offering to cover visitors daily insurance cost will be published soon.


Do Not Pick Up Sea Stars in The Ocean

Before a halt in travel due to coronavirus, travelers used to enjoy sea stars and take them out of the water for a Instagram picture, but this was dangerous.

Picking up a sea star and holding it above water can be fatal to this beautiful creature.

Sea Stars are very fragile. 

enjoy from a distance, don’t pick them up.

Sea Stars need to breathe in order to survive, and they can only breathe underwater. Fresh air is toxic to the sea star’s respiratory system. 

The department of nature and environment noticed a lot of sea stars out of their normal habitat, and wants to remind everyone to enjoy watching the starfishes when snorkeling from far, but don’t take them out of the sea. 

Picking up sea stars is illegal in Aruba. They are protected under the nature conservation ordinance flora and fauna (AB1995no2). 

Tres Trapi & Boca Catalina are beaches known to have the most sea stars laying on the bottom of the sea in Aruba, but they belong in the sea, and not out of the ocean.


Renovations at Drive-in Almost Complete

A few weeks ago the owners of Aruba’s first drive-in announced they were relaunching the business. 

Renovations works are happening fast and should be completed end of July 2020.

According to the owner, a large sum of money has been invested in new modern equipment for the drive-in.

Drive-in will have modern equipment, however, the design and building will maintain its essence like the first day it was opened. 

The movie’s soundtrack will be heard just like old times, through FM radio-frequency. The property has a capacity for 280 cars.

Here’s a video of the property at the moment during construction and the owner during an interview in Papiamento (if you don’t understand Papiamento, at-least you can see the property)… 

In its glory days, the entrance was charged per person, in modern times, they are going to charge per car. 

The first movie premiered at the drive-in opening in 1969 was “The Guns of Navarone” a British-American epic adventure war film. 

Closing its doors in 2009, the last movie shown on the big screen at the drive-in was “Fast & The Furious 4”, one of the most popular street car racing movies. 

Coronavirus changed the entire world, including the movie industry.

Sitting in a packed movie theater is suddenly out-dated, and the old school drive-ins are the new and safe alternative to watch a film in this era.

It’s not easy eating popcorn with a mask on anyway, soon you can comfortably enjoy a movie in your car in Aruba without worrying about the person sitting next to you.


The New Pier at Rodger’s Beach

It’s official – construction started on a new pier at Rodgers Beach.

The new pier is part of the beach beautification project in San Nicolas announced in 2019 by the Government.

According to the Tourism Minister, the size of the new pier is 29 square meters, including a large platform next to it that can be used to jump in the water or simply to sunbathe. 

As soon as the pier is completed within 6 weeks, the project is set to continue with an infrastructure upgrade, new beach huts, additional parking spaces, new courts for sports (volleyball, soccer, and tennis), restaurants, bars, and bathrooms at both Baby and Rodgers beach.

Here’s a view of the pier at Rodgers beach back in the old days of Aruba…

Rodgers beach in its glory days…

More tourists will be geared toward this side of the island, because of the renovation and upgrading of Baby beach, Rodgers beach, and the addition of a new hotel. 

San Nicolas has a lot to offer, another view of Aruba, culture, arts, food, and beautiful beaches. 

There’s truly a lot to do here on this side of the island. 

When in San Nicolas, visit the Tourist Information Center close to the central bus station for guides on what to do.


Support & Donate To Vacations By Aruba

Please consider supporting vacationsbyaruba.com if you enjoy reading the weekly newsletters, especially during these coronavirus times.

Your generous donations will be used to cover our maintenance fees and operating costs to keep the website online.

To send a donation, click the “donate” button and enter the amount you’d like to donate.

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This is the first time in Aruba’s history that the borders are closed for travel.

There is no exact date yet when travel restrictions will be lifted, only tentative dates are known, which are between June 15 – July 1, 2020 – everyone’s waiting on a definitive date to be announced by the Government. 

But when travel is finally allowed again to Aruba, it won’t mean that everyone around the globe can visit Aruba anytime they want. 

According to the Tourism Minister, travel restrictions will not be lifted altogether, but gradually. The borders will open in phases, at first only allowing travelers from countries who have the coronavirus situation under control, and slowly opening to more countries in the future.

The USA is Aruba’s largest market and borders will open for the states, however, there are going to be strict controls before visitors can board.

One might say Aruba should wait before opening borders, however, there are consequences for taking too long to lift travel restrictions. 

Aruba is over 90% dependent on tourism, so the longer it takes to reopen borders, the worse our economy will get. More businesses will close, more people will lose their jobs. 

The Government has to loan money from The Netherlands in order to keep the island afloat, and doing this creates additional debt, which won’t benefit Aruba in the long run.  

Reopening the island for visitors is a calculated risk between the island’s public health and economic crisis. The only way to bring a balance between the two is reopening the borders with strict controls at the airport, and rapid testing capabilities (isolation and quarantine, if necessary) to stop the spread of coronavirus.



The Impact of Coronavirus in Tourism Compared to 2019

According to the CEO of the Aruba Tourism Authority, there are 3 different situations Aruba can expect in tourism for 2020 compared to tourism in 2019.

  • Optimistic –  55% reduction in tourism 
  • Conservative – 75% reduction of tourism 
  • No Tourism – borders stay closed, no tourism at all, until further notice

According to oxford economics, COVID-19 is 9 times more impactful on the island’s economy compared to both Nathalee Holloway & the 9/11 crisis.



Aruba’s COVID-19 Protocols & Procedures

The Government and local authorities have set different protocols and procedures in place to stop the import and spread of coronavirus once travel restrictions are lifted.

  • Pre- and Upon Arrival Protocols
    For use in suspected COVID-19 cases among passengers.
  • Accommodation Protocols
    For use in suspected COVID-19 cases among guests
  • Business Sector Protocols
    To elevate hygiene and health, sanitation protocols to a level our visitors and locals are demanding as a part of the new normal due to coronavirus.

Aruba’s New Tourism Growth Model

Aruba’s new tourism model is based on high value and low impact tourism.

  • Quality of visitor experience
  • Environmental protection and conservation
  • Residents quality of life
  • The economic contribution of the tourism sector

The road map to the growing tourism model is:

  • diversifying the island’s economy
  • Less mass, more niche destination
  • Accommodation development and management
  • Cruise development and management
  • Destinations hubs
  • Sites and visitors flow management
  • Environmental conservation
  • Capacity building

 



Consumer Sentiment Survey (USA Market)

Aruba Tourism Authority did a survey among 10.500 travelers who have been to Aruba before and the results are:

  • 82% of past visitors are considering their next Aruba trip
  • 17% are considering traveling to Aruba as soon as restrictions are lifted or within the next 3 months after. 

The results indicate a gradual growth in tourism.

Aruba’s Airport Preparation Post COVID-19

The airport has several protocols in place to limit the import of coronavirus.

Entry Requirements

  • 100% screening of all arriving passengers and crew
  • Manual temperature checks 
  • Short interview by an on-site doctor
  • All suspected cases will undergo rapid  COVID-19 test at the airport (results within 45 minutes)
  • Positive cases will be isolated and transported to a quarantine

Exit Requirements

  • Mandatory flow control into the check-in terminal & throughout the departure process
  • Only traveling passengers will be allowed inside the check-in area
  • Protocol in place for suspect cases includes screening and in case required testing onsite.

Health & Hygiene Measures

  • Plexiglass shields at all counters
  • Revised sanitation protocols for all airports areas
  • Mandatory use of personal protective equipment for all staffs
  • Enhanced air quality throughout the airport terminal 
  • Revised protocols for airlines

Mandatory Embarkation-Disembarkation Card (ED)

According to the Tourism Minister, there’s going to be a mandatory ED card as part of the pre-screening in Aruba that visitors have to complete 62 hours before boarding. This ED-card will have different questions related to health including COVID-19. 

The Government is also considering visitors to test for coronavirus before boarding the airplane to visit Aruba (not officially decided upon yet by the Government).


recent news out of Aruba


 

How is the hotel sector preparing post coronavirus?

Social distancing & hygiene are central to the new protocols and procedures prepared by Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association (AHATA), which including but are not limited to:

  • Plexiglass at all contact points, for example, check at the front lobby.
  • Check-in will be done with a mobile app, no more room keys
  • Room sanitation will be deeper and extensive
  • Beach chairs and lounge chairs will be socially distanced
  • Restaurants also will use the social distance between tables and guests. 

Recommendations by Medical Professionals in Aruba

Medical professionals in Aruba want to minimize the importation of new cases of COVID-19 when travel restrictions are lifted. If there is a new import case of COVID-19, the doctors want to keep the spread as low as possible or avoid it completely, by using isolation, contact tracing and quarantine. 

To filter out possible import cases, the government is deliberating to require travelers to test for coronavirus before boarding.

What happens if a visitor has COVID-19 symptoms at the hotel?

So what happens if you make it through the airport without any symptoms, but you start to develop symptoms of COVID-19 a few days after.

According to the CEO of AHATA, you have to call the front desk and they will transfer your call to a doctor, who will test you for coronavirus. 

If you are positive for COVID-19 you will be transferred to a designated accommodation for isolation and quarantine, until you are fully recovered.

Aruba’s COVID-19 Insurance

The Government plans to introduce COVID-19 insurance in case you test positive for the virus in Aruba.

This insurance could be mandatory and will be offered by insurance companies in Aruba. 

COVID-19 insurance will cover transportation, accommodation, and medical care when you test positive for coronavirus.

According to Tourism Minister, COVID-19 insurance is not official yet, pending final agreements with local insurance companies (further details and information will be announced by The Government).

Paradigm Shift For Visitors

Before COVID-19 visitors wanted to travel to a destination that offered safety. The ability to leave the hotel room safely without being subject to crimes.

The safety paradigm for travelers has shifted and now includes safety from hygiene and sanitation.

Due to coronavirus, travelers want to visit a destination that is not only safe from crimes but also a place that has protocols and guidelines in place to combat and contain coronavirus.

Avoiding a Second Lockdown

No one knows when or if a second wave of COVID-19 will present itself, but if it does, Aruba will avoid using a second lockdown as a preventive measure. 

According to a local infectologist, the key to avoiding a second lockdown is the speed in which local authorities react to contain a possible spread. 

This includes rapid testing, isolation, contact tracing, and quarantine. 

A second lockdown would be disastrous to the island’s economy which is trying to come back from a blow of the first coronavirus wave.


Beaches are shining like diamonds…


Magic Mango is Balashi’s New Beer

Aruba has a new beer on the market to beat the island heat. 

It’s a new brand beer by Balashi featuring Mango, a fruit that grows on the island.

The new beer is not a permanent addition to the brewing company’s line of beers, it’s limited edition.

Magic Mango was created by the first female brewmaster of Aruba, named Marisol Heronimo. 

Magic Mango has a different brewing process, totally different from line beers like Balashi and Chill.

On the Magic Mango beer bottle, you can see a brave Aruban dame.

Magic Mango is Balashi’s first Pale Ale beer. These types of beers are full of flavor, in this case, Mango. 

How does Magic Mango’s taste?

After taking a sip, I’d say just like a classic hoppy pale ale with a pleasant and sweet taste of mango. 

Once on the island, grab a Magic Mango and taste the new beer in Aruba.


Reactivating Transhipment of Aruba’s Refinery

Refineria di Aruba (Rda – Aruba’s refinery) continues with works to finalize agreements between companies that are interested in crude oil storage and plans to install a transshipment facility.

The project includes repair and inspection of oil tanks, and also the construction of a dock capable of handling large ship tankers.

Renting out the tanks to store crude oil can possibly net the government between 2 and 3 US million dollars a month.


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Aruba Crushed The Coronavirus Curve

Aruba is now officially COVID-19 free after reporting its first coronavirus case on March 13, 2020. 

It’s been over a month since Aruba registered a new coronavirus case.

The last patient with coronavirus left the hospital this week after being isolated for several days in intensive care at the hospital.

How Did Aruba Crush The Coronavirus Curve?

Health leaders such as the World Health Organization advised countries around the globe to help flatten the curve, and Aruba did it.

Aruba managed not only to flatten the curve but brought the number of active cases all the way down to zero. 

This accomplishment is due to the public department of health and government testing strategy called “search and destroy”. Testing as many people as possible with symptoms, and isolating positive cases to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The coronavirus curve was also crushed due to several safety measures put in place by the Government to stop the spread such as curfews (toque de queda), shelter in place, samenscholingsverbod (ban on large group gatherings). 

Another key to winning the battle against active coronavirus cases was the Aruban community that was urged to call their doctor if any symptoms related to COVID-19 was felt.

A total of 101 coronavirus cases were detected on the island since the first imported case on March 13, 2020. Unfortunately, 3 people died from the virus.

Will Aruba Stay COVID-19 Free?

Although the number of active cases is 0, there is no assurance that the virus is not present in Aruba.

The number of people currently in quarantine (161) is still a concern. What if one or more people in quarantine has the virus? 

Another important aspect to keep Aruba COVID-19 free is reopening the border for visitors, who can potentially import the virus. 

We all hope the island will stay coronavirus free, however, there are certain aspects the island needs to be aware of to keep the active cases zero.


Strict Coronavirus Controls at Airport

Aruba’s airport will open soon, however, the way you go through the airport is going to change with stricter control to prevent the import and spread of coronavirus.

As visitors enter the airport they will be subject to a 3 layer control that includes:

  •       Thermal cameras (those with high temperatures will be tested)
  •       COVID-19 Rapid Testing (results within 90 minutes)
  •       Checklist with coronavirus related questions

What will happen to visitors who test positive for coronavirus?

Visitors who test positive at the airport (or during their stay in Aruba) for coronavirus will be assigned to a COVID-hotel to isolate and quarantine. 

Quarantine or isolation can take up to 2 – 3 weeks.  

In case visitors get sick and need medical attention they will be transferred to the hospital.


recent news out of Aruba


Before You Travel You Should Know This

Before you travel anywhere, especially to Aruba, you should know that if you show any symptoms of coronavirus, and test positive for the virus, you will need to go into quarantine. 

If you’ve booked an expensive hotel, rented a car, and have reservations at the finest restaurants, but end up in a COVID-hotel to isolate, it’s going to ruin your vacation plans, morally and financially. 

How can you avoid this?

The best thing to do is not to travel if you have any symptoms related to COVID-19. And protect yourself at all times before and during your flight to avoid getting the virus into your system. 

It’s also a good idea to apply for travel insurance, which includes the coverage of pandemic trip cancellation and medical expenses.

When Will Travel Ban Be Lifted?

There is no definite date yet to reopen Aruba’s borders. 

However, according to the Tourism Minister, the tentative date is set between June 15 – July 1, 2020, pending official announcement by the Government.

Cruise ships have no tentative date yet to resume operations.

Related Articles – Read Our Previous Newsletters


Tentative Aruba Flight Plans

Four major airlines announced they are ready to continue flight schedules to Aruba as soon as the borders are open again.

The four major airlines that will resume operations are:

  • American Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • United Airlines 
  • JetBlue


The amount of tourism is not going to be the same at first, but will gradually grow to a larger number of visitors per month.

Aruba welcomed over 20.000 passengers every week before the coronavirus outbreak. Now it’s estimated that around 2.000 visitors will be allowed into Aruba per week, and this number will gradually increase if the situation around the world improves.

The 4 major airlines that will resume operation as soon as borders are open again will bring 128 flights to the island combined. In February 2020, before the outbreak in Aruba, these 4 major airlines were flying 440 times.

Here’s the amount of flight each airline will start with as the borders open again (compared to before the outbreak):

  • American Airlines will start with 56 flights (used to be 137). 
  • Delta will fly 12 times per month (used to be 73). 
  • United Airlines will fly 4 times a month (used to be 101)
  • JetBlue will fly 56 times per month (used to be 129)

The number of flights and airlines will gradually increase as travel recuperates around the world and in Aruba.


Aruba Continues To Open Economy

The Government moves to phase 3 of reopening the economy of Aruba as of June 1, 2020.

Phase 3 allows more businesses to open including:

  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops 
  • Bakeries
  • Lottery shops
  • Massage parlors, spas, and saunas
  • Barbershops 
  • Hair Salons
  • Gyms

Establishments that are not yet allowed to open are bars, nightclubs, and casinos.

New Rules For New Normal Lifestyle

Although the active coronavirus cases in Aruba dropped to zero, there are still rules in the new normal lifestyle on the island. 

According to the department of public health, each individual has the personal responsibility to take care of their health and they should do this by following rules:

  • Maintain social distance
  • Practice safe hygiene measures
  • Call the doctor if COVID-19 symptoms are felt

Ritz Carlton Casino Becomes Smoke-Free

Gamblers can now enjoy a healthier atmosphere in the casino at Ritz Carlton when they reopen the casino in June as a smoke-free casino.

According to Area General Manager of Ritz Carlton, Steven Redkoles – The decision to transform the casino into a smoke-free environment was voluntary, as a result of the hotel focusing on the wellbeing of its guests and employees. 

This is a bold statement by Steven Redkoles that takes the team members, and guests’ health into consideration after the devastating effects of COVID-19.



Casino players that avoid casinos because of the smoke now have an option to try their chance with lady luck in Aruba. 

Gamblers who wish to puff a cigar, cigarette or vape, will need to go outside the resort property and return to the casino after.

The casinos in Aruba are set to reopen sometime in June 2020.


The New Normal For Restaurants in Aruba

Restaurants are reopening after the government imposed a lockdown in March 2020.

Slowly going back to normal operations, from take-away to delivery, recently opening for outside dining only and soon hosting guests again for inside dining.

Business seems to return to normal, but diners have to maintain new hygiene protocols in the midst of these coronavirus times. 

These safety measures include temperature check before entering restaurants, following markers to your table, safe distancing, and washing your hands.

Restaurant sales dropped compared to last year, but diners expect business to increase after the borders reopen.


local restaurant in palm beach sweet peppers kid friendly


Survival of the Restaurants 

There are over 300 diners on the island, and all were affected by the coronavirus.

A few restaurants didn’t survive the COVID-19 blow and were forced to close, one example is Taste of Belgium.

Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association expects one hundred restaurants to open within the following weeks. But the majority of restaurants (200+) are expected to reopen their establishment in November, or at a later date.

297 Establishments Are Hygiene Certified

According to Aruba’s Tourism Authority, a total of 297 businesses related to the tourism sector on the island received their pre-check for Health & Happiness Code. 

Health & Happiness Code is a new clean and hygiene certification program for businesses. It’s a sticker that each establishment should display at the forefront of their business that ensures that every safety measure was taken to create a safe environment for visitors, locals, and employees.

The business that received the pre-check is in the following sectors:

  • Food & beverage
  • Accommodation
  • Retail
  • Food trucks

New Bird Species Found in Aruba

A new bird species was discovered on the island by nature group “Aruba Flora & Fauna”.

After investigation, the newfound bird species is known as the “Variegated Flycatcher” (Empidonomus Varius.)



It was the first time this type of bird was noticed in Aruba on May 17, 2020.

The finders of the bird gave it a local name, “Tirano Raya”.

It’s a new bird in Aruba but found in different countries including, Venezuela, Uruguay, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina.

It’s believed that the bird made its way to Aruba from Venezuela, because of a navigation error by the Flycatcher and it wound up far outside its habitat.

Birdwatchers now have a new bird to spot and cross off their checklist in Aruba.


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Aruba Moves Closer To a “New Normal Lifestyle”

The Government in Aruba continues to ease coronavirus measures two months after the outbreak affected the island.

Curfew (Toque de Queda) has changed from 10:00 pm – 5:00 am to 11:00 pm – 5:00 am. Before the new extended hours, curfew was set at 9:00 pm – 6:00 am.

Shelter in place and agglomeration are also lifted, as the island enters a “new normal” lifestyle. 

The Government urges the Aruban community to continue to practice social distance and proper hygiene to prevent the further spread of the virus, even though measures are gradually eased.

The Second Phase of Reopening Aruba’s Economy

Aruba entered the second phase of reopening its internal economy on May 18, 2020. 

The Prime Minister of Aruba spelled out different metrics for moving into the second phase of the “new normal lifestyle” during a press conference.

 Here are the new rules that apply during the second phase:

  • eliminate shelter in place
  • lift the agglomeration ban (more than 3 people in a group)
  • remove the maximum limit number of people that can enter a store
  • curfew (toque de queda) is still in effect, from 11:00 PM to 05:00 AM

According to the Prime Minister, phase 3 of reopening the island’s economy internally will start after May 31, 2020, depending on the progress made during phase 2.

Going Back To Business as Usual

As the Government eases coronavirus measures around the island, they also gave different businesses on the island the green light to resume operations.

Construction projects, schools, shopping malls, movie theaters, churches, outdoor sports reopened since May 18, 2020.

Restaurants (only outside dining), barbershops, and beauty salons are allowed to open on May 25, 2020.

Businesses that remain closed until further notice are:

  • spas & massage parlors
  • bars
  • casinos
  • nightclubs

Coronavirus Statistics in Aruba

Here are the latest numbers related to coronavirus cases in Aruba (last updated May 22, 2020):

  • Active Cases – 3
  • Recuperated – 95
  • Quarantine – 63
  • Total Tests -2063
  • Negative Results – 1962
  • Deaths – 3

The transmission rate of coronavirus is very low in Aruba (no new cases found in over 3 weeks). 

This indicates that the Government and local public health department has the transmission of the virus under control.


Nature Conservation Over Destruction

The days of driving UTV & ATV on natural areas in Aruba seem to be over as Infrastructure & Environment Minister plans to regulate the use of these off-road vehicles to drive on protected areas.

A part of Aruba’s adventure loved by visitors and locals is driving UTV & ATV alongside the north coast of the island. However, over the years, these vehicles caused damage to the natural areas around the countryside.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment is working on solutions to improve this situation and protect natural areas from damage in the future.

There are two aspects they are focusing on:

  1. Conservation and protection of Aruba’s protected nature area’s
  2. The process of inspection of these off-road vehicles

Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association wrote a letter to the Government expressing their concerns regarding the use of UTV and ATV vehicles, recommending new regulations for reasons of safety for the island’s visitors and protection of Aruba’s environment.

The Government clarified this week during a press conference that UTV’s & ATV’s will not be banned, but they are looking for a solution for these off-road vehicles including but not limited to:

  1. stop renting UTV/ATV directly to individuals (no more unguided driving), only allowing rentals by guided tours.
  2. briefing safety rules for each tourist before the start of tours.
  3. Prohibit dangerous maneuvers such as donuts, fishtailing, and driving over protected nature areas.
  4. Ban the driving off-road vehicles on main high roads such as the downtown area.

Arikok National Park in Aruba also announced that it will start to regulate the entry of these vehicles as of June 2020.

This means only low impact ways of traveling (exception of jeeps, compact cars, and vans) can be used to enter the park and visit the natural areas such as the natural pool. ATV’s and UTV’s are only allowed to enter the park with tour companies, and strict driving rules will be applied to protect the natural areas inside of the park.

The Natural Pool.


Aruba’s Airport Expects Slow Restart

The airport in Aruba (AAA) is prepared for a restart of regular operations as soon as the Government officially reopens the island’s borders.

Regular operations at the airport are expected to restart on June 1, however, this is going to be postponed as the Tourism Minister announced borders have a tentative date to reopen between June 15 and July 1, 2020.

Travel to Aruba will experience a slow restart when the airport reopens because only a limited amount of visitors will be allowed to enter the island.

Travel to Aruba not only depends on the borders reopening on the island but depends on many other factors. These factors include but are not limited to countries lifting their own travel bans and the extend countries have the virus transmission under control.

Major Airlines Tentative Flight Schedules 

The airport shared good news this week that major airlines announced tentative plans to resume internationally, including Aruba in the summer. 

Here’s a view of the tentative flight schedule for major airlines.


Visitors Not Require To Quarantine

Tourists visiting Aruba as soon as travel is allowed again worldwide are not required to go into quarantine for 14 days according to Tourism Minister. 

Travelers want to relax and enjoy their vacation in Aruba, and imposing a quarantine rule is ineffective, said the Minister.

He also noted that it’s best not to open the borders at all if mandatory quarantine is enforced on travelers. 

According to the Tourism Minister, several protocols and guidelines are in place at the airport to prevent importation and transmission of the virus.

These protocols and guidelines include temperature checks, screenings, onsite medical professionals, markers for social distance, protective shields, and all staff received mandatory personal protective equipment training.

No mandatory quarantine rule for travelers remains under review until further notice.


Aruba Health & Happiness Code

Aruba’s Tourism Authority announced a new cleaning and hygiene certification program called the Health & Happiness Code (H&H Code).

Businesses related to the tourism industry displaying the H&H code ensures every safety measure was taken to create a safe environment for visitors.

The health & happiness code will be displayed on different tourism-related sectors including accommodations, restaurants, bars, taxis, casinos, tour operators, and retail stores.

All businesses related to tourism must receive on-site inspection and approval by the department of public health before they receive the gold “H&H code” seal. 


Tourism in Aruba Before Coronavirus

Aruba experienced a sudden drop in tourism after receiving over 1 million stayover visitors in 2019.

Today, the airport is shut down. The hotels are empty. Restaurants are closed, and employment is at an all-time low.

We’ve never seen times like this.

Aruba is one of the islands that depends on tourism the most in the Caribbean region.

Before the outbreak, the island welcomed a total of 1.120.655 stay over tourists during 2019. The majority of tourists coming from North America. This sector of Aruba’s tourism market grew 11%, the largest growth gap since 2004.

The total amount of stayover visitors by airplane grew in 2019 with 3% and cruise ships and by 2.1%.

The occupancy rate in Aruba was 75%, which is one of the highest in the Caribbean for 2019.


Travelers Want To Visit Aruba

As the world starts to ease coronavirus measures, more people start to weigh whether – or if they should travel again, and where should they travel to first. 

According to data captured by Expedia.com, travelers searched for flights between July through December were located inside of the US. 

This is an indication that Americans and other travelers around the world are going to test the waters when traveling inside of their own countries.

The destinations selected by travelers according to the data from Expedia.com suggest that travelers are looking for vacation spots that offer warm weather and activities, both indoor and outdoor. 

When it comes to international travel, the data by Expedia.com suggests that travelers are dreaming about the Caribbean, and Aruba is on the list of top 10 destinations travelers want to visit.

Are you also planning your first visit to Aruba?

Relaxation and beach time are plenty in Aruba…

 


Taste of Belgium Goes Out of Business

The family-style restaurant in Palm Beach known as Taste of Belgium is permanently closing due to challenges imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

In 2019, before the outbreak, this restaurant had been offering Belgium inspired dishes and beers inside an upscale lounge. 

When the outbreak caused a full lockdown on the island, the owners from Taste of Belgium decided to shut down temporarily until March 31, 2020.

However, the decision to temporarily close in March became permanent.


Coronavirus Business Impact in Aruba

Thirty-six business owners in Aruba were surveyed by the Aruba Food & Beverage Association, and 83% of them say they lost 100% of their sales.

This is the response of 36 business owners in Aruba:

  • 36% say they will reopen on May 25, 2020 
  • 64% won’t open back on May 25, 2020, until further notice
  • 83% say they won’t close permanently
  • 17% say they may close their business

Although a small number (36) of business owners participated in this survey, compared to the thousands of businesses related to tourism in Aruba, it highlights the economic impact of coronavirus on business on the island.

If this estimate holds true for other business owners on the island, it could predict hardships for business in Aruba which are trying to recover from this crisis.


Aruba’s Drive-In Theater Makes Comeback

It’s official, the popular drive-in theater in Aruba is making a comeback during the pandemic.

CEO of MetaCorp and owner of the drive-in theatre said they are rebuilding the historic drive that closed in 2009.

The drive-in is on the list of fast track projects that will resume as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. A project like this is creating jobs for people during these hard times and will help boost the economy.

According to the owner of the Drive-in, cleaning up and reconstruction works should be finalized within the next 3 months.

The final design of the drive-in will be modern, but still keeping its original look in its glory days, including ample parking, concessions stands, and bathrooms.

Drive-in Aruba first opens it’s doors in 1969 and operated for 40 years until it, unfortunately, closed in 2009. But the open-air movie theater is making a comeback, with the help of modern technology.

The normal movie theaters where the business model – sit close to each other, are suddenly outdated in these coronavirus times. Now the old school movie theater model is the “new and safe alternative” to watch blockbuster movies in an era of coronavirus.

It’s hard to eat nachos and popcorn with a mask on anyway.

Soon you can get out of quarantine life and enjoy a movie outdoors on the big screen.


Construction at Harbor House in Full Swing

Construction advancements continue to take place at one of the newest condominiums in Aruba’s downtown.

The 7 level building is on schedule with construction works. The interior space of each unit is clearly visible now as a division of the different condominiums is completed. The floor tiles in the units are almost completely laid out. Further constructions work taking place at the moment and also almost completed is the roof and deep foundations for the infinity pool overlooking the fishing harbor in Oranjestad.

Additional progress made so far includes:

  • placement of ceilings  and door installations for all units
  • fire detection installations
  • floor tiles for pool deck
  • terrace participation
  • main pool construction

The outside of the building is also taking shape as sheetrock is installed and the final product is coming to reality slowly.

Harbor House will have 94 apartments, 12 commercial buildings in its 2 story mall, including retail shops and restaurants.

Can you imagine living a new lifestyle in the Caribbean?


Aruba Selects Partner For Precious Oil Storage

Aruba is now offering the possibility to lease oil storage after the Government terminated a contract with the opposition-controlled US subsidiary of Venezuela’s national oil company PDVSA.

The offer to lease comes during a historic supply of oil and the collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Aruba has a total of 17 storage tanks available, and 7 of them are waiting for inspections and repairs to comply with storage regulations.

More than 40 companies are showing interest in using Aruba’s refinery for storing their excess oil. The state-owned refinery “Refineria di Aruba” (RdA) will award the storage lease at the end of May or June 2020.

According to the Prime Minister the lease payment for storing crude oil in Aruba’s storage tanks will net the Government at least 3 million US Dollars per month.


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Aruba Plans To Open Borders

Tourism Minister announced plans to reopen Aruba’s borders and revive the tourist industry gradually.

When Will Borders Reopen

According to the Tourism Minister, the Government set a “tentative date” to reopen the island’s borders between June 15 and July 1, 2020.

The definite date when travel bans will be lifted depends on several factors, including keeping the rate of local transmission of the virus low. And having all the cleaning and sanitation procedures in place within all sectors of the tourism industry in Aruba.

The government is developing a cleaning and sanitation guidelines for different businesses related to tourism in Aruba regarding social distance and hygiene measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

This guideline is called the “clean seal certification program” and it’s based on recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Public Health & Environment (The Netherlands), and the Local Health Department in Aruba.






Clean Seal Certification Program 

Aruba Tourism Authority and The Government are working together to create a clean seal certification program for all businesses within the tourism industry.

The clean seal program declares that businesses who obtain this certificate regularly apply cleaning, sanitation and proper hygiene measures to ensure health safety to visitors and locals.

This program will be required by all sectors within the tourism industry, including but not limited to the airport, restaurants, casinos, car rentals, retail stores, taxis, spas, hotels, and other accommodations in Aruba. 

The clean seal certification program is developed by several stakeholders in the tourism industry of Aruba, including the public health department, Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association, Aruba Airport Authority, Aruba Trade & Industry Association, the local department of Civil Aviation, Aruba Ports Authority, and the Government.


recent news out of Aruba


 Slowly Restarting Tourism Again

According to the CEO of Aruba Tourism Authority, Aruba already has pending reservations from different airlines including spirit airlines, delta airlines, American airlines, jet blue, Avianca, and Copa airlines, but not limited to this. 

She also says flights will have fewer visitors because airlines will change their seat layout and limit the number of passengers.

Aruba received a minimum of 20.000 visitors weekly prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

The local tourism authority expects between 1000 and 2000 travelers to visit Aruba after the lockdown is removed.

The reduction in visitors is based on research among US travelers and lower occupancy of passengers announced by airlines that service Aruba.

A recent study shows that 14% of US travelers are willing to travel to the Caribbean as soon as travel bans are listed in the US.

The same study also shows that 50% of US travelers are not willing to visit Asian regions and Europe if a vaccine against coronavirus is not available.

After aerial traffic is safely opened, the government will move onto the next step which is opening borders for cruise lines.

Numbers show that tourism in Aruba will not be the same compared to before the outbreak.

The soft reopening of Aruba’s borders is going to be a way to test the island’s protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 locally and with traveling.

Every step along the way after the border reopens is going to be a learning experience to make better decisions in the future to combat coronavirus.

Coronavirus Statistics in Aruba

Here are the latest numbers regarding coronavirus cases in Aruba (updated last April 10, 2020):

  • Active Cases – 9
  • Recuperated – 89
  • Quarantine – 54
  • Total Tests -1860
  • Negative Results – 1759
  • Deaths – 3

In the last 18 days, only 1 new coronavirus case was discovered.

This indicates that the Government and local public health department has the transmission of the virus under control.






New Sanitation Protocols For Hotels in Aruba

Hotels in Aruba are subject to new cleaning and disinfecting protocols, as well as the physical distance standard set by the Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association (AHATA). 

AHATA created a new best practice document for local accommodations in Aruba to prepare for post-lockdown reopening. 

The new protocols are followed by recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Aruba’s Health Department (DVG).

The new cleaning guidelines also include behavioral rules for employees on resort property, new ways for guest interaction, and new hygiene standards for post coronavirus hospitality. 

New cleaning and disinfecting policies, including physical distancing are required in different areas around the resort, including restaurants and casinos. 

AHATA’s new cleaning norms assures the hospitality in Aruba will provide guests with health and safety.


Local Economy Fully Open By June 15, 2020

The Prime Minister of Aruba announced a further phasing out of Aruba’s lockdown with plans of reopening the island economy internally on June 15, 2020. 

This is a step towards economic normality after slowing the spread of coronavirus on the island. 

According to the Prime Minister, the situation will be evaluated every two weeks, and if requirements are met, the economy of the island will move slowly into the next phase of reopening, until it opens completely on June 15.

All businesses that are on the list to re-open in the upcoming weeks are subject to safety and hygiene measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.





Arikok National Park Bans UTV & ATV

Aruba’s National Park (Arikok) will soon ban the entry of ATV’s and UTV’s into its park. 

ATV and UTVs are quad racers and all-terrain vehicles used by island tour companies to go sightseeing around Aruba, especially the north coast of the island. 

Why are these vehicles being banned?

ATV’s and UTV’s are being banned, due to drivers unknowingly destroying nature and the environment by driving over flora and fauna, including nests of owls, rabbits, and other indigenous animals in Aruba. 

Not only are ATV’s and UTV’s banned entry to the national park, but the Government is also banning the use of these vehicles on the road.

The ban will start gradually by regulating the entry of ATV’s and UTV as of June 1, 2020. Complete ban of ATV’s and UTV’s will go into effect as of October 1, 2020. 

Only compact cars, jeeps, vans, and pickups are allowed to enter the park. However, these vehicles are not allowed to enter in groups larger than 4 cars. 

National Park Arikok only will promote the entry of low impact tours. 

So how can you visit popular attractions like the natural pool in the national park?

The only way will be with a jeep, horseback riding, biking, hiking, or other low impact modes of transportation.


Excelsior Casino at Holiday Inn Bankrupt

Operators of Excelsior Casino located at the Holiday Inn declared bankruptcy. 

The director of the casino sent all employees home as in March 2020, after the first case of coronavirus was discovered in Aruba under a no work no pay basis.

Financial challenges at the casino started a few years ago and continued into 2020, but the devastating blow was landed after the coronavirus outbreak. 

Excelsior Casino’s contract at the Holiday Inn terminated April 30, 2020, after being renewed in September 2018. The owners of Holiday Inn in Aruba denied a renewal of the contract after termination in 2020.






Aruba Signs Termination Agreement With CITGO

The Prime Minister announced that a termination agreement with CITGO has been signed by Land Aruba and Refineria di Aruba (RdA – Refinery of Aruba). 

Negotiations lasted over a year, and now that the contract between Aruba and CITGO is terminated, the refinery and storage tanks are back into the island’s ownership.

CITGO has an outstanding debt of 17 million US dollars that needs to be paid within the next 5 upcoming months.

New opportunities will present itself now after the contract with CITGO terminated. 

The future of Aruba’s refinery

According to the Prime Minister, there is interest from other companies to lease the storage tanks to hold the current over-production of crude oil.

Renting out the tanks to store crude oil can possibly net the government between 2 and 3 US million dollars a month. The company that will rent the tanks will be decided by a public tendering process, which will start within a month.


Support & Donate To Vacations By Aruba

Please consider supporting vacationsbyaruba.com if you enjoy reading the weekly newsletters, especially during these coronavirus times.

Your generous donations will be used to cover our maintenance fees and operating costs to keep the website online.

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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
  • museums
  • 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
  • Education
  • Agriculture
  • Energy security
  • Tourism

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.

malmok boardwalk project in Aruba


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

Related Article – Coronavirus Improving in Aruba


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.

new-airport-logo

The new logo, right in front of the airport.


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.

aruba-weekly-newspaper-recap

Washed up sargassum seaweed near Wariruri.

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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