Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Aruba extend shelter-in-place order and 2100-0600 curfew through April 28 due to COVID-19. Other restrictions in place.

This alert affects Aruba

This alert began 17 Apr 2020 12:32 GMT and is scheduled to expire 28 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Islandwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through April April 28
  • Impact: Severe international and internal transport disruptions, commercial disruptions, increased security

Summary
Authorities in Aruba have extended the shelter-in-place order and accompanying 2100-0600 curfew through at least April 28 as part of their efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the daytime shelter-in-place order, residents will only be allowed to leave their homes to purchase groceries, medicine, and fuel or to obtain medical services. All nonessential businesses and activities have been closed, including all educational facilities, retail stores, bars, restaurants, and recreational and entertainment establishments. Residents will not be allowed to leave their homes during curfew hours. Persons providing essential services will be required to present the relevant documentation allowing movement during curfew hours. Pharmacies are exempt from the measure.

Other current restrictive measures include a temporary entry ban for all nonresident foreigners, as well as returning citizens and legal residents, until further notice. The travel ban does not affect departures. Although Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) remains operational, departing flights are severely limited.

The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport throughout the territory. A larger than usual police presence is likely. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by authorities in Aruba are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int