Dear loyal Members,
Some of you may have been following the situation in Aruba via your own digital means but we felt that we should summarize the significant developments up to March 30th 2020 for those who may not be aware of the changes and following are the measures taken by the Government of Aruba in order to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19 which has accounted for 50 cases island-wide with only 1 hospitalization.
- Starting Tuesday, March 24th 2020, the Government of Aruba mandated that every establishment has to be closed by 8:00 p.m. Every bar and restaurant will be closed for dining in service, with only an exception for drive-thru or delivery until 8:00 p.m.. Gas stations can stay open until 8:00 p.m.. The only exception to this directive is for the Pharmacy on duty and the Hospital which can stay open.
- Starting Saturday, March 21st 2020 until April 19th 2020 – at the moment – the Government of Aruba has implemented a curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. During these hours, nobody is allowed on the streets. Those who work essential night shifts and have to go to work or back home must have a document with them issued and signed by their Employer that proves this. Those who do not comply with the regulations of the curfew can get a fine up to 10,000 Aruban florins and for violation of opening hours up to 1,000 florins.
- Starting Saturday, March 21st 2020 until April 19th 2020 – at the moment – the Government of Aruba has decided that the Aruban borders will be closed for entry. Nobody is allowed to enter the country. Only empty flights can come in to pick up passengers leaving Aruba to take them to their destination and International Airport Reina Beatrix has elevated its control of all flights coming from countries which are not on the restriction list which are mainly European countries.
- This restriction counts for residents of Aruba as well but residents who are abroad and are having difficulties to return to Aruba have a special number to contact for assistance.
- All educational facilities will be closed from March 16th 2020 until further notice. These measurements include schools, Day Care Centers and all organizations in charge of education and care of our children.
- It is prohibited to visit retirement homes.
- Government departments are working with limited personnel. Services to the public will be given on appointment basis only, and if necessary, all other services will be given via telephone or email. This is to prevent overcrowding in Government Departments and public spaces.
- Effective Sunday 29th March 2020, the shelter-in-place policy has been mandated for an initial 2-week period and below is a list that describes what businesses / activities are considered non-essential and they have to be closed day and night.
- Schools and childcare
- Restaurants (except for takeaway, drive through and delivery)
- Recreation (Casinos, movies, gyms, etc)
- Events/Meeting spaces
- Church services
- Shops (shopping centers, kiosks also)
- Beauty Salons and Barber shops
- At the moment, other businesses – which includes hotel operations – can remain open under the following very specific conditions:
- The Government urges them to work with a skeleton crew
- Ensure all employees and clients obey the 2-meter distancing rule. If it is violated, the establishment may be shut down
- No specific permit is required for the shelter-in-place, but the Employer letter is still required for the curfew.
- As part of the shelter-in-place directive and until April 19th 2020, a recommendation goes to all owners or organizers of social, religious, restaurant activities, where there is a mass gathering to keep it to a maximum of four (4) persons and while still observing the social distance of two (2) meters. Funerals are an exception where a maximum of ten (10) persons are allowed. All public and private activities for which a Police permit was granted have also been canceled.
- On March 30th 2020, the Minister of Justice introduced a grace period for tourists stranded in Aruba as a result of The Coronavirus pandemic. Their allowed stay period on the island has either recently expired or is about to expire in the near future as a result of the closure of borders and / or flights being cancelled. In light of the aforementioned circumstances, the Minister of Justice, Security and Integration introduced a temporary grace period policy allowing those stranded visitors on the island to remain until April 17th 2020. The policy can be adapted accordingly if the general circumstances change.
Currently, Paradise Beach Villas is empty – like all other Resorts – and the beaches are bare. Most of the staff is on paid vacation at the moment but we have Security, skeleton pool maintenance, and Front Desk. The Maintenance and Housekeeping crews have special projects – room care programme, deep cleaning etc. – also operating with skeleton crews. Wherever possible, work from home is being enforced e.g. Accounting.
Travel to and from the island is also affected and at the moment, no non-nationals are allowed entry. This is obviously important information to our loyal visitors who annually make Aruba their preferred vacation destination and we will share any information with you as soon as we receive it. In this regard, please check our website for how we are planning to deal with the weeks that are affected.
As a reminder, we encourage you to follow the official site for updates from the Ministry of Health and Tourism of Aruba for the latest updates on our island’s preparedness, plans and travel requirements at https://www.aruba.com/us/traveler-health-requirements
Stay as well and as healthy as you possibly can in the circumstances. Stay positive as this will be behind us at some point and will be in touch next week with some more updates from Sunny Aruba.