COVID-19 updates on Aruba: Tentative opening airport on June 15

Aruba is slowly restarting its economy and preparing for a possible restart of the airport. The local tourism authority expects between 1000 and 2000 travelers to visit our island after the lockdown is removed. The reduction in visitors (before the crisis Aruba had a minimum of 20.000 visitors per week) is based on research among US travelers and lower occupancy of passengers announced by airlines that service Aruba.

The Airport.
All eyes are turned towards the aviation industry as to when we can all take to the skies again. On May 8th, the Government of Aruba announced that the borders will tentatively be re-opening for inbound travel between June 15 and July 1, 2020. UA Airport will implement all kinds of measures on the airport premises to be able to safely handle passengers and scheduled commercial air traffic. These measures entail for example signage to guide passengers, personnel and other airport users in social distancing, capacity restrictions, transparent shields on check-in desks, sanitizer stations, marking and signage of common use areas and queueing areas, one-way corridors and adjustment of the airport’s belt assignment policy.

Aruba Airport Authority N.V. (AAA) since the start of the crisis has been in close contact with all airline partners and stakeholders who were affected due to the global impact on air travel. AAA will continue to communicate with transparency by providing general updates on the destination and air service as AAA continues to actively evaluate re-opening strategies. As tourism is the lifeline of Aruba’s economy, AAA will continue to play an integral part of the Economic Recovery process.

Clean Seal 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. It is 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.

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.

Local re-opening phase II.
The Minister of Health announced reopening phase II started yesterday, Monday, May 18th. This implies that the Shelter in Place and Gathering Ban ends. Allowed to re-open are churches and temples, construction sites, outdoor sports and training (no contact sports or competitions), shopping malls, cinema and schools – if ready with protocol implementation.

As of May 25th are allowed to re-open: restaurants but with outdoor dining only (restaurants with indoor dining must continue with takeaway and delivery only), barbershops and salons, preschool, nursery and after school programs. Bars, snack shops, massage establishments and spas, nightclubs, casinos and events are to remain closed. Official protocols apply to all sectors. The curfew and policing of public order will remain in place as informed by the Chief of Police.

Here are the latest numbers regarding coronavirus cases in Aruba (updated Monday, May 18):

  • Active Cases – 5
  • Recuperated – 93
  • Quarantine – 101
  • Total Tests -2021
  • Negative Results – 1920
  • Deaths – 3