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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to Aruba

Latest Updates

April 2, 2020 – Positive cases increase to 60. The number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Aruba is currently 60. A total of 805 persons have been tested so far.

April 1, 2020 – Positive cases remain at 55. The number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Aruba is currently stable at 55. A total of 737 persons have been tested to date. 53% of cases in Aruba are male; 47% female. 20% of cases are in the vulnerable group normally defined as persons with underlying health issues including heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung conditions.

March 31, 2020 – Positive cases rise to 55. The number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Aruba is now 55. A total of 682 persons have been tested to date. Four of the persons who have tested positive are in hospital, one of whom is in intensive care, but in stable condition.

March 30, 2020 – Positive cases remain at 50. The number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Aruba is currently stable at 50. A total of 634 persons have been tested to date. Curfew procedure update by police: Up until now curfew violators would be taken to the police station, served a fine and then released. From now on, to further discourage persons from violating the curfew, anyone caught in violation will be detained until the following morning, served the fine and then released.

March 29, 2020 – Positive cases rise to 50. The number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Aruba is now 50, out of 601 persons tested to date. Earlier today the official count was published as 52 however this has been revised due to 2 cases being inconclusive. It has also been announced that hospital visits by the general public are not allowed moving forward. This is because it is very difficult to follow and enforce social distancing rules at the hospital. Some exceptions are in place for pediatric patients and for maternity-related visits.

March 28, 2020 – 46 people now have tested positive. The number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Aruba is now 46, out of 560 persons tested to date. The strategy being applied is to test as much as possible, given the resources available. As a result the number of positive cases will inevitably increase as is being seen. It is notable that there have been over 180 arrests of persons who have violated the mandatory curfew. Each of these are subject to fines of Awg. 1,000 (~US$560). Furthermore businesses who violate the curfew order are subject to fines of Awg. 1,500 (small business), Awg. 3000 (medium sized businesses), and Awg. 5,000 (larger businesses). Fines could be increased to a maximum of Awg. 10,000.

March 28, 2020 – Shelter in place and list of non-essential activities. The shelter in place order that comes into effect on March 29 at 12:00am means that persons are only allowed to leave their homes for essential activities such as buying food, medicines or to do exercise. Furthermore as announced yesterday a ban on gatherings of 4 persons or more will also come into effect on Sunday; with the exception of families living under one roof. The 9pm to 6am daily curfew remains in effect until April 20, subject to re-evaluation.

The government of Aruba has defined the following as non-essential, and these will have to cease operating for as long as decreed by the government (currently in effect until April 20, 2020):

Schools and other educational institutions.
Clothes shops, shops selling accessories, jewelry or souvenirs; all shopping malls, all flea markets, tourist markets and kiosks, beauty shops (hair, nails etc), barber shops.
Bars, food trucks (only takeout and delivery is allowed), bakeries (only takeout and delivery is allowed), restaurants (only takeout and delivery is allowed).
Casinos, nightclubs, adult entertainment, art expos, recreational centers, cinemas, companies offering recreational activities, gyms and other exercise facilities, places where sports is practiced, museums.
Places offering meeting and/or event facilities, churches, construction projects.

March 27, 2020 – An additional 5 persons test positive. Restrictions extended until April 19. Aruba now has a total of 33 cases of COVID-19 coronavirus. 10% of persons tested have tested positive so far. During the briefing at 7:00pm AST, Aruba’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes announced that all measures and restrictions currently in place that previously had a deadline of March 31, 2020 have been extended to April 20, 2020. This includes all school closures, travel restrictions, the 9pm to 6am daily curfew. She mentioned that this is all subject to re-evaluation depending on how the situation develops. The ‘shelter in place’ order that comes into force on Sunday March 29 will also be in place until April 20, 2020, subject to similar re-evaluation. In addition, all non-essential businesses and services are required to stop operating as of March 29. A list of non-essential businesses, services and activities will be published soon. An additional measure that will also come into effect as of Sunday March 29, being a ban on gatherings of 4 or more persons, was also announced during this evening’s briefing.

March 26, 2020 – Cases spike to 28. Aruba now has a total of 28 cases of COVID-19 coronavirus; jumping from yesterday’s count of 19. Consequently the government has decided to ramp up measures to mitigate local transmission. As of Sunday March 29, there will be a mandatory ‘shelter in place’ order. On Friday March 27, specific details of this order will be published.

March 25, 2020 – 2 new cases announced. Aruba’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes announced two new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in Aruba. One case is of  local transmission while the other is an ‘imported’ case – a person who recently traveled to Colombia. Both persons are locals. This brings the total number of positive cases in Aruba to 19 out of the 294 persons tested to date.

March 24, 2020Minister of Health announces 5 new cases. Aruba’s Minister of Health, Dangui Oduber announced five new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus. This brings the total number of positive cases in Aruba to 17. Up to now 20 tests were being done per day and these have doubled to 40. Furthermore, the Minister announced that as of Friday 27th March all lotto outlets have been instructed to close. Aruba’s Prime Ministers, Evelyn-Wever Croes also mentioned that Aruba’s Parliament has approved unanimously the proposed plan of 1.3 billion florins (~US$722 million) to support Aruba’s economy. She also made a repeated appeal for people to stay home and practice social distancing.

March 23, 2020 – 3 new cases – 2 of local transmission. Aruba’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes announced three new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in Aruba. All cases are local persons and 2 have occurred via local community transmission while the third was contracted while the person was in Colombia. This brings the total number of positive cases in Aruba to 12. The Prime Minister also announced that there is a planned stimulus and rescue package of 1.3 billion florins (~US$722 million) to help employees and businesses in Aruba including small to medium businesses. This package will be achieved through a reduction of costs by government, and through international loans. Some updates to opening rules and business hours were also announced: all establishments must close by 8:00 pm. All bars and restaurants are to close except for takeout/delivery and must close outright by 8:00 pm. Gas stations can remain open until 8:00 pm.

March 22, 2020 – 1 new case – an Aruban national – announced. Aruba’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes announced an additional case of COVID-19 coronavirus in Aruba. Significantly, this is the second reported case of local community transmission. The Prime Minister reiterated that ongoing recommendations for social distancing are extremely important at this stage whereas several persons seem to be not taking this seriously enough. Following this announcement, Yolanda Pronk from the Public Prosecutor’s office mentioned that the authorities were clamping down hard on any persons who do not comply with the mandatory daily curfew between 9pm and 6am that will remain in effect until March 31. Several persons (29) have already been fined Awg. 1000 each (~US$560) for non-compliance and two persons were fined additional sums for resisting the police. The Prime Minister also mentioned that additional steps to limit freedom of movement could be taken if the public does not comply with social distancing recommendations or with the mandatory curfew.

March 21, 2020 – 3 new cases announced in Aruba. Speaking in what has become a regular daily press conference,  Aruba’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes announced that an additional 3 persons have tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus in Aruba bringing the total positive cases to date to 8.

March 19, 2020 – Mandatory curfew to come into effect on Saturday March 21. Aruba’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes announced that as of this coming Saturday a mandatory curfew will be imposed in Aruba. The curfew will take effect at 9pm and will last until 6am. It will remain in effect until March 31. Furthermore as from Saturday until March 31, all incoming travel will be stopped, including access for Aruba residents. In a statement, the CEO of the Aruba Airport Authority, Mr. Joost Meijs confirmed that, as reported earlier today, an employee of a company operating at Aruba’s Reina Beatrix airport tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. This person was indeed the fifth known case on Aruba.

March 19, 2020 – Employee of a company operating at Aruba airport tests positive. According to Aruba Airport Authority spokesman Hendrik Croes, an employee of a company operating at Aruba’s Reina Beatrix airport has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. No information was given as to which company this person works for and whether it is the same person announced by the Department of Health as the fifth person to test positive. The work area in question has been closed off. Contact tracing is currently under way to identify people who this person may have come in contact with, and out of caution all high risk persons who work at the airport have been sent home. Three Aruba Airport Authority employees have been sent home to self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.

March 19, 2020 – Fifth case announced, and one recovery. A fifth case of COVID-19 coronavirus, identified as a person of Aruban descent who recently returned to Aruba, has been confirmed by Aruba’s Department of Health. It was also confirmed that one of the other four cases has recovered. Furthermore Aruba’s first confirmed case, a 65 year old American national who was on the island working as a consultant to Aruba’s Water production facility, has been transported to the U.S. via air ambulance. The person had been in isolation, and had recovered sufficiently to be able to be transported back to the U.S.

Related to the social distancing efforts in Aruba, all businesses and establishments must close by 8:00pm as of today, March 19th. The only exceptions to this are specific on-duty pharmacies, drive-thru and delivery-only restaurants, and gas stations. These can remain open until 10:00pm. Additionally, all casinos, movie theaters and gyms be required to close until further notice, and all group sports activities will stop as of March 19th also.

March 18, 2020 – Department of Health holds press conference. Aruba’s Department of Health held a press conference at 1pm AST where they brought forward some additional information. No new cases have been reported as of the time of the press conference.  Currently 125 persons in Aruba are in quarantine for the required 14 day period. The Department of Health reported that the COVID-19 hotline is being inundated with calls, and appealed to the public to use that number only if the combination of symptoms associated with COVID-19 (see post below) are being manifested. The Department of Health also indicated that additional lines of communication will be added shortly including a Whatsapp line and a dedicated number to be used only by persons aged 60 and over. Specifically for Aruban nationals/residents who are stuck abroad and who are having difficulty returning to Aruba the following contact numbers are available: +297 5696897 / +297 5689251 / +297 5637928 .

March 17, 2020 – Fourth case of coronavirus announced. Aruba’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes has just announced a fourth case of COVID-19 coronavirus in Aruba. The person who tested positive for the coronavirus is a tourist.

March 17, 2020 – No new cases based on tests carried out to date. In a broadcast press conference to provide an update on the situation in Aruba, Aruba’s Health Minister announced that there are no new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus as of noon today.  A reminder was given to call the COVID-19 Hotline at (+297) 280 0101 (free of charge) if one experiences a combination of symptoms that include high fever above 102°F (39°C), dry cough, and shortness of breath. The Minister of education also declared that schools would remain closed until January 31st. The local awareness campaign is having its effect and several businesses are taking definite steps to put social distancing into practice in what is an ongoing and increasing island-wide effort to curb the spread of the virus as much as possible.

March 16, 2020 – Third case of coronavirus in Aruba. In a broadcast press conference, Aruba’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes announced a third case of COVID-19 coronavirus in Aruba. Additionally, the prime minister announced that as of March 17, 2020 all establishments (restaurants, bars and gas stations included) will be required to close by 10pm. Several restaurants have decided to close outright for the time being, while others are offering takeout and/or delivery. In the interest of safeguarding employees and the general public, additionally several casinos and retail stores have also closed for now.

March 15, 2020 – Lockdown on all international inbound travel. In a broadcast press conference at approximately 8pm AST, Aruba’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes announced that there will be a lockdown on all inbound international travel commencing at midnight of March 16, 2020 and ending on March 31, 2020. An exception to this inbound travel lockdown will be granted to Aruba residents. A travel advisory will also be instituted for residents, advising against outbound travel at this time. To date Aruba has two confirmed Corona Virus cases. It is important to note that this lockdown does not apply to outbound travel for international travelers currently in Aruba – they will be able to take their return flight home.

March 14, 2020 – Cruises initiated at U.S. ports have suspended operations. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has said that cruise lines from U.S. ports have suspended service for the next 30 days as of March 14,2020. Any other cruise ships arriving to Aruba from cruises initiated at non-US ports continue to be required to submit a maritime health declaration to the Department of Public Health in Aruba and the Department of Public Health can inspect any cruise ship whenever deemed necessary. Furthermore, any cases of isolation will not be allowed to disembark from the cruise ship they are on.

March 13, 2020 – First positive cases announced in Aruba. In a broadcast press conference, Aruba’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes announced that two persons in Aruba have tested positive for Corona Virus. One is an Aruban national who recently traveled to and returned from New York and another is an American national who is a consultant to Aruba’s water production company WEB. Both persons have been isolated and manifested only mild symptoms. It was also announced that as of March 14 airport screening will be much more stringent and that as of Sunday March 15 travelers from Europe, with the exception of Aruban nationals, will not be allowed entry, at least until March 31 when this measure will be reevaluated. This will also apply to persons from the list of countries designated by WHO as having sustained and widespread transmission. Aruba’s Prime Minister also mentioned that all public and private activities including any cultural activities have been cancelled for the coming days, at least until March 31. Out of caution, schools will be closed as of Monday March 16 until further notice.

March 12, 2020 – Aruba’s Reina Beatrix airport is stepping up cleaning efforts significantly. In a statement, CEO Joost Meijs said that aside from routine daily cleaning, the cleaning frequency  of public areas has increased; and sanitizer machines as well as soap dispensers have been added to strategic areas. The full statement from Aruba’s airport CEO is available here.

March 10, 2020 – According to a statement by Aruba’s Minister of Health all tests on individuals who experienced symptoms similar to those of the Corona Virus have turned out negative. To date Aruba has no known cases of the Corona Virus. Updates will continue to be posted as they become available.

ORANJESTAD, March 6, 2020 – We reached out to the authorities for for information about the Corona Virus (COVID-19) in Aruba and were provided with an official statement provided by the Minister of Tourism, Health and Sport. We also have some additional information on certain measures being taken by the Department of Public Health in collaboration with the tourism sector, medical practitioners and the general public in Aruba.

The main takeaways are as follows, valid as of date of the official statement.

  • There are neither suspected nor confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Aruba
  • There are currently no restrictions on travel to or trade being applied in Aruba
  • Screening is being done at the Aruba airport
  • Cruise ships are required to submit a health declaration to Aruba Department of Public Health which also has the authority to carry out inspections

Furthermore the following steps have been / are being taken or being recommended by the Department of Public Health

  • Aruba’s Hospital and ImSan have designated rooms to treat suspected Covid-19 patients including drawing blood for tests. 42 rooms are available for possible isolation of patients and can be expanded if needed.
  • There is a COVID-19 hotline on +297 280-0101 which is available 24/7.
  • People reporting symptoms such as headache, high fever and shortness of breath/respiratory issues, are being advised to contact their family physician by phone and provide requested information including any travel history.
  • Information sessions have been organized for people in Aruba’s tourism industry, for healthcare providers and for the general public
  • Many hotels are stepping up their sanitation efforts
  • There is an ongoing coronavirus awareness campaign for the general public in Aruba

Below is the official statement from Aruba’s Ministry of Health & Tourism.

“The Ministry of Health and Tourism of Aruba is collaborating with all
government authorities on a national level in actively implementing Aruba’s preparedness and response plan for COVID-19. Aruba continues to monitor the situation of the Coronavirus locally, regionally and internationally. As of January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Please be informed that there are neither suspected nor confirmed cases of the Coronavirus reported in Aruba, and there are no probable cases in quarantine.

In accordance with International Health Regulations (World Health Organization), Aruba is not applying any restrictions on travel or trade. We are welcoming visitors to the destination. Aruba is employing several measures used globally and has the capability of testing COVID-19.

All airlines with service to Aruba have received notification of
their responsibility to flag potential cases on board flights. All passengers,
including residents, who have traveled to or taken trips originating from
China, South Korea, Japan, Iran or Italy within the past 14 days shall be subject to screening upon arrival. The list of names of the aforementioned identified passengers shall be sent to the Immigration Department and Department of Public Health prior to landing in Aruba. Transit passengers shall go through the same screening process as the passengers with Aruba as their final destination. Screening protocols will not be waived under any circumstances, even for passengers who may have been screened at destinations prior to arriving in Aruba. A medical letter will not be accepted as an exemption for screening.

Upon arrival, identified visitors will complete a traveler health questionnaire. Any potential cases will be subject to immediate screening by the Department of Public Health for symptoms (fever, coughing, and shortness of breath). The Department of Public Health will decide if these passengers or crew member(s) will be quarantined or isolated.

Passengers displaying symptoms will be isolated and receive clinical treatment as per W.H.O. guidelines for COVID-19. In case passengers were in contact with a recent confirmed case, these will be quarantined for an amount of 14 days after the last contact.

In reference to the cruise industry, the current International Health Regulation will continue to be applied. Each cruise ship is required to submit the maritime health declaration to the Department of Public Health in a timely manner. The Department of Public Health can make use of its authority to inspect the cruise ship whenever deemed necessary. As per regulation, cases of isolation will not be allowed to disembark from the cruise ship.

A local awareness campaign is currently underway to educate and inform the public about the importance of basic hygiene practices, such as proper hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, frequent disinfection of surfaces, cough and sneeze protocol. Avoid going to public places at all times when having respiratory illnesses.

All other protocols defined by the World Health Organization are also in place and shall continue to be activated accordingly.”

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For more information please also refer to the Facebook page of Aruba’s Department of Health.