latest news in Aruba

It’s Getting Easier To Travel to Aruba Now

Aruba formed a partnership together with Jetblue, The Commons Project Foundations, and COVID testing companies Vault and XpresCheck, to launch the use of the CommonPass platform. 

This platform allows travelers who fly with JetBlue (Boston Logan International Airport) to Aruba, to enter the island using the CommonPass digital health pass. 

The CommonPass platform enables safer travel and easy entry, because travelers can simply scan their passports and other requirements in the app to verify that they meet the entry requirements for Aruba. 

JetBlue already started the program, and the first flight with CommonPass landed Tuesday (March 16, 2021) and will continue for all JetBlue flights from Boston to Aruba.

Aruba became the first Government to adopt the platform to streamline entry into the island. 

Travelers visiting Aruba are required to test for negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of or upon arrival on the island.

Instead of uploading the negative COVID-test result in a separate website, passengers can now upload their results using the CommonPass app, which will streamline the arrival process in Aruba.

This CommonPass app only applies for travelers flying with JetBlue and who utilize JetBlue’s testing partners, Vault for supervised at home PCR test or XpresCheck for in person testing.

Additional testing facilities will be added to the CommonPass app soon. 

Travelers with CommonPass app will have access to dedicated immigration lanes and pass through effortlessly, and start the vacation as soon as possible.

Paul Meyer, CEO, of The Common Project Foundation said, “CommonPass and the CommonTrust network provide passengers, airlines, and governments with a trusted system to digitally verify that an international traveler meets entry requirements upon arrival. Our registry of health data sources – information from labs, pharmacies, hospitals and health departments – is essential to giving the public the confidence to once again travel, attend events and enjoy activities they did prior to COVID-19”.

How To Enter Aruba With CommonPass App

Follow the steps below to successfully complete the process:

  1. Download the CommonPass app, prior to flight.
  2. Test for COVID-19 with Vault or XpresCheck (at home or airport).
  3. Enter invitation code after testing into the app & upload results.
  4. Fill in your online ED-Card
  5. CommonPass users pass through dedicated immigration lanes.

Proof of Vaccination Soon Allowed To Enter Aruba

At the moment, Aruba requires travelers to test 100% and show a negative test result to enter the island. 

According to the CEO of Aruba Tourism Authority, the requirements to enter Aruba can possibly also include a verification of vaccination.

This does not mean, you have to be vaccinated to enter the island, or else. It’s simply a flexible requirement to let visitors in without testing, if they have proof of vaccination. 

However, not yet official, still under review, but this is one of the changes in the future.

The protocols and management of this new entry requirements are being put in place at the moment, and will be announced when complete.

New requirement rules for entry for cruise ships are also being put in place, and most likely will only include travelers who are vaccinated.

Aruba Vaccination Program

Aruba started its vaccination program for locals on February 17, 2021.

The vaccines arrived on a Dutch airline KLM 777, named “Epidaurus” which was the name of a healing center during Greek & Roman times. 

Over 10.000 locals have been vaccinated as of March 5, 2021, and almost 32.000 people registered to get vaccinated (14.000 people of the registered group are locals 60+ years old). 

The Government of Aruba plans for 80% or more of the community to be vaccinated before the summer. 

According to the Health Minister, the vaccination program includes vaccinating between 300 to 800 people per day, until everyone who registered is vaccinated. 

The vaccine brand used in Aruba at the moment is Pfizer.

According to the Health Minister, a total of 17.550 vaccines are expected from The Netherlands on March 23, 2021 to continue with the vaccination program. 

Get Ready For Turtle Season

It’s that time of the year again, where Aruba’s oldest repeat visitors are coming back. 

I’m talking about leatherback sea turtles, and they are back to lay more eggs.

The leatherback sea turtles are protected by a local foundation called Turtugaruba.

They scout the beaches for turtle nest and barricade the areas. During the nesting season they monitor and protect the nests around the island and guide the turtles to the beach once they hatch.

Edith van der Wal, member of Turtugaruba explained that they expect more turtles to lay nests this year and are preparing for the annual nesting.

Last year a total of 40 nests were laid on Eagle Beach, this year more turtle nests are expected.

The baby turtles hatch after usually 60 day that the eggs have been nested.

Eagle Beach is not the only beach that turtles come to nest, Turtugaruba has located different leatherback turtles nesting sites including, Arashi, Bushiri, Rodgers Beach and Baby Beach.

Here’s a few rules you can follow in order to leave the turtles nest their eggs at night without disturbing or scaring them away:

  • Limit any sounds and movements that might stop the sea turtles to come ashore
  • Light can make a sea turtle turn back and not nest, no flash lights or camera flashes
  • Do not drive on the beaches with any type of vehicle, because the eggs can get crushed, and the compacted sand makes it harder for turtles to come out
  • No littering, because plastic materials can resemble a sea turtle’s favorite food, jellyfish
  • Do not disturb a nesting sea turtle, by trying to touch it, keep a safe distance at least 10 meters or more.

If you notice crawl marks on the beach on your morning beach stroll, tell the front desk at your resort to notify Turtugaruba (+297 5929393).

Two Boutique Hotels in San Nicolas

San Nicolas expects to receive two new boutique hotels at Baby Beach.

The boutique hotels will be located where Nanki Country Club (ex Esso Club) used to be (the abandoned buildings next to JADS Dive Center). 

Not much information can be said about the projects, because they are just in the initial stages of conception, said Haime Croes, the Director of Department for Infrastructure Management & Planning (DIP). 

It is known that the boutique hotels will have approximately 30 rooms. 

The project compliments the current renovations happening in San Nicolas at the moment, including new asphalt roads on Baby Beach. New facilities (bathrooms, parking spaces, huts, restaurants, kiosks, and sporting grounds). 

Another hotel, Secrets, is also under construction, overlooking Baby Beach (should be completed within 2 years).


Layout of the future Baby beach resort, Secrets, in Seroe Colorado

Baby Beach itself will also be expanded with beach sand, including the Lone Palm Stadium area, creating more space for locals and visitors to enjoy the turquoise waters. 

A new pier was built at Rodgers Beach, which is a stone throw away from Baby Beach.

The upgrades at Baby Beach will take a few more months to complete.

Bartending Competition in Aruba

There’s a bartending competition in Aruba that you must attend if you’re on the island during the month of March. 

The event is simple, 12 bartenders created a one of a kind cocktail that they are offering at their restaurant or bar – and you get to vote who has the best cocktail!

For more information about the event, drinks and bartenders, read more here – Aruba’s King or Queen of Cocktails 2021. 

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