photo: Sharina Henriquez

ORANJESTAD – On Monday the 15th of June, Aruba will open her borders with Curaçao and Bonaire, and on July 1st with Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean region (with the exception of the Dominican Republic and Haiti). The border with the United States of America will open on July 10th. That is the country where most tourists come from.

That last decision is controversial because the other islands in the Kingdom such as the BES and Curaçao will keep their borders with the US closed due to the corona risk. The Netherlands’ advice is to travel to the US if only utterly necessary. The American health authorities’ advice to their own population is for them not to travel outside of the country.

Test on arrival
But according to the Aruban health minister, Danqui Oduber, Aruba is following ‘all the advices of the RIVM’. The Dutch health institute recommended that everyone should get tested before they board a flight to Aruba. “But the airlines said that they would cancel all of their flights to Aruba and would start flying to other Caribbean destinations.”

Obligatory COVID-insurance
The minister says that this is the reason why the test is required on arrival. Tourists are allowed to take a test in their own country and upload the negative result before departure. Additionally tourists have to fill in an immigration form and health declaration up to 72 hours before their departure.

A COVID-insurance is also required. “this costs 15 dollars per person per day and cover all of the costs for quarantine and medical care on Aruba. Including intensive care costs”, says Oduber.

Normally tourists can’t insure themselves for a pandemic. But the Aruban government in collaboration with local insurance companies made this special insurance possible. They did this to ensure that the island isn’t saddled up with health care costs of tourists who contract corona.

Those who get tested on Aruba have to pay 75 dollars, after which they will go into quarantine for 24 hours at the accommodation they booked. Tourists who test positive have to go into isolation at a separate lodging.

At least 50 percent fewer tourists
Aruba is expecting 2000 tourists per week in July. That is 20 percent of the amount that visited the island during the same period last year. Tourism authority ATA expects that 50 to 70 percent fewer tourists will visit the island compared to 2019.
The border with Central and South America will remain closed for now.