Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Aruba reduces curfew to 2300-0500 as of May 22 due to COVID-19. Borders to reopen June 15-July 1.

This alert affects Aruba

This alert began 22 May 2020 15:53 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 Jun 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

Authorities in Aruba have reduced curfew hours to 2300-0500 daily as of May 22, and will continue to further relax restrictions on businesses and facilities over the coming days. The new curfew measure took effect May 21 and forms part of government efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Residents are not allowed outside their homes during curfew; emergency and critical services are exempt. The government has been gradually relaxing business and movement restrictions since early May. From May 25, restaurants will be permitted to open for sit-in services; barbershops, beauty salons, daycare centers, and creches may also reopen. 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.

The government has also announced plans for the reopening of its borders June 15-July 1. Currently, a temporary entry ban is in effect for all nonresident foreigners, 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 a further relaxation of restrictions.

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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