Aruba, one of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations, has launched a series of aggressive measures to contain and prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
The Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba has officially restricted all non-residents of Aruba from entering the island (although non-residents have been allowed to leave the island).
On Thursday, Aruba stepped up its Coronavirus fight, mandating that all establishments close at 8 PM every day through March 31, 2020.
That includes exceptions for restaurants offering drive-through or delivery, both of which will also close at 10 PM.
Dining rooms will close at 8 PM.
On March 19, all of Aruba’s casinos, movie theaters and gyms will have been closed, while all group sporting events will also have been canceled.
“We understand this causes disruption to your travel plans, but your safety and the wellbeing of our locals continues to be our number one priority,” the Aruba Tourism Authority said in a statement.
It’s a strong move by the destination both to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.
More and more Caribbean destinations have been implementing aggressive measures, including similarly popular destinations like the Cayman Islands and Guadeloupe and, more recently, the region’s most-visited destination, the Dominican Republic, which has shut down its borders for a 15-day period.
“As you can imagine, this decision does not come without serious consideration as tourism is the lifeline of the Aruban people,” the Aruba Tourism Authority said on its Web site. “However, our highest priority is the health and well-being of our people and our visitors.”
While the situation has put many hotels in the region in a difficult position, Aruba’s top hotel, the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, has launched a clever program to “bring” Aruba to travelers.
It’s called #bringingbucutitoyou, and the aim is to “remind everyone of the beauty of Aruba and where they may travel to next.”
“Aruba is an island population completely dependent upon the tourism industry and at present, tourism is halted,” said Ewald Biemans, owner and CEO of Bucuti. “Please visit us as soon as you can and until then, enjoy our social media posts of our associates, who are sending the message that they are missing you.”