Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Aruba to maintain 2200-0500 curfew, while further easing restrictions on businesses and public movements from May 18.

This alert affects Aruba

This alert began 16 May 2020 15:55 GMT and is scheduled to expire 25 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Islandwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: International and internal transport disruptions, commercial disruptions, increased security

Summary
Authorities in Aruba will lift the current shelter-in-place order and further relax restrictions on nonessential businesses and public movements from May 18. Officials will, however, continue to enforce the existing 2200-0500 curfew until further notice, as part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Beginning May 18, the government will enter a new phase of reopening the economy. Most schools, churches, shopping malls, and cinemas will be permitted to reopen. Construction projects and noncontact sports for non-competitive purposes will also be allowed. This is in addition to reopening of retail stores, food trucks, museums, art centers, and authorized construction firms earlier in May. Restrictions on the maximum number of people inside an establishment have been lifted. However, all businesses and establishments must continue to ensure that employees and customers maintain at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) between each other, that sick workers stay home, and that enhanced sanitation and hygiene protocols are enforced. Grooming services, casinos, bars, and nightclubs will remain closed until further notice. The government intends to further relax other restrictions from May 25.

Authorities are also maintaining a temporary entry ban for all nonresident foreigners and returning citizens and legal residents, until further notice. All incoming passenger flights have been suspended until at least May 31. Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) remains operational for cargo, emergency, and limited repatriation flights only. 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, a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11. Aruba's decision to ease restrictions takes place within the framework of a flexible four-level system geared at gradually reopening the economy through June. The territory is currently on Level 2, the second-highest in terms of the degree of the restrictions. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, the relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in further relaxation of restrictions.

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.


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