Aruba opens again
ORANJESTAD — All corona measures have been terminated as of today, which Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes (MEP) announced Wednesday. Testing is only carried out at the border when travelers are not fully vaccinated. The quarantine policy has also been lightened.
“The goal today is for Aruba to open completely again,” the prime minister said Wednesday. It has now been 705 days since the pandemic started on March 13, 2020. “These 705 days have been tough for everyone, full of uncertainty and pain. It was also difficult for our young people who could not even go out or go to school, and people who worked in the hotel sector and the culture.”
On February 2, the crisis team already lightened most measures, because according to the prime minister, this was no longer medically and legally tenable. Only the hygiene measures remained in force, such as wearing mouth caps if necessary, keeping one and a half meters away from each other, and washing hands. These have been changed from today into recommendations, which are requested to be followed as much as possible. It is also recommended to ensure that there is always fresh air, to be vaccinated or boosted, to use self-tests, and if you show symptoms of corona, to stay indoors and be tested. “Just keep in mind that there are locations that may still require certain things and stick to that,” the prime minister also said.
One of those places is Reina Beatrix Airport. Aruba Airport Authority (AAA) announced to the press on Wednesday that all preventive and security measures in the so-called restricted areas of the building will be maintained for the time being until March 1. This concerns the locations in the terminal such as the local immigration services and customs, security, the UC Customs, and Border Protection, all gates, and the main concession areas (departure hall with shops and catering within the terminal). This means that the operation, the employees, and the passengers are protected by the obligation to continue to wear a mouth cap. Outside these areas, i.e. in the offices, the check-in counters, and the arrivals hall, wearing a face mask is recommended. AAA says it will monitor the current global situation in aviation before adjusting these measures.
Testing at the border
Last week, access at the border was already further lightened. Travelers who have been fully vaccinated, ie including the booster shot, no longer need to be tested to enter Aruba. If one has not been vaccinated, one must upload a negative PCR test result up to 72 hours before departure or a negative antigen test result up to 24 hours in advance. Residents may opt for testing upon arrival at Reina Beatrix Airport.
Quarantine measures lightened
People who have had contact with someone who has tested positive, for example at work, are advised to continue to wear a mask for the next ten days when in contact with other people, but they no longer need to be quarantined unless they have symptoms themselves.
People who live in the house with someone who has tested positive for corona must quarantine for five days. Except for those who have recovered from corona infection in the last three months, have had a booster shot more than seven days ago, or are between one and seventeen years old. Housemates who do go into quarantine and develop symptoms of corona themselves should call their doctor or make an appointment via the website arubacovid19.com for a test code that they can enter in their Aruba Health App for an appointment.
If you have not developed any symptoms after five days, you can stop the quarantine, but a mouth cap must be used five days afterward when in contact with other people. It is also recommended to do a self-test before going back to everyday life, but you have to pay for it yourself.
“If I’ve learned one thing over the past 705 days, it’s that you can never please everyone with the measures you take,” he said. “But I also realize that a lot of people are concerned about this big step that we are now taking to remove most of the measures. To be honest, I’m concerned myself, but the numbers we have at the moment no longer justify maintaining it.” Wever-Croes decided that no country in the world knows what will happen next and that one must remain vigilant.