Aruba has signaled its intent to reopen its borders for tourism as early as June 15, and now the destination has unveiled a stringent new health and safety program called the “Aruba Health and Happiness Code.”
The cleaning and hygiene program will be mandatory for all tourism-related businesses across the country, according to a statement from the Aruba Tourism Authority.
“As we prepare to reopen our borders, it is critical to evolve and innovate as a tourism destination to protect our local community and future travelers once they reach our shores,” said Danguillaume Oduber, Aruba’s Minister of Tourism, Public Health and Sport. “We want all visitors to feel reassured in traveling to our One happy island, knowing we worked together as a nation to implement the highest health and safety protocols through every step of their journey.”
The certification will include a seal of approval “displayed prominently on all tourism-related businesses.”
The program will begin at the airport, where the Aruba Airport Authority has been working to adapt its own practices for the return of tourists.
That will include new measures like screening, temperature checks, on-site medical professionals, social distance markers, mandatory PPE training for staff and other safeguards at the airport.
It’s not yet clear what specific requirements Aruba will have for inbound travelers; the first Caribbean destination to announce such a plan was Saint Lucia, which will require, among other conditions, a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test prior to entry.
The Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association has launched a “Best Practices Guide” for hotels, which will have to change a number of their protocols, from adding plexiglass barriers at desks to using “digital” keys to contactless check-in.
One top Aruba resort, the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, has already announced a wave of new measures for health and safety, likely setting the standard for what we can expect on the island.
Aruba officials said the protocols would also extend to Aruba’s national parks and attractions; that will include a permanent ban of ATVs from protected areas.
For now, Aruba has said its reopening for inbound travel is scheduled between June 15 and July 1.
“A formal announcement will be made in the coming weeks with the official reopen date,” the Aruba Tourism Authority said.
For more, visit Aruba.