Officials on the Caribbean island of Aruba have announced the lifting of local COVID-19 restrictions as part of the country’s Path Forward, with local businesses and restaurants resuming normal hours and capacity limits with no restrictions on closing times.
The news comes two weeks after Aruba eased entry protocols for international travelers, allowing visitors the option of taking an antigen test one day prior to travel to Aruba, presenting a negative PCR test taken no more than three days earlier or the option to travel with a digitally verifiable QR code proving that they’ve been fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 booster shot.
In addition to making life easier for travelers, local businesses and restaurants, there is no longer a restriction on the number of people who can attend events and gatherings such as weddings, and dancing is no longer prohibited.
“Without question, the global pandemic has forced tremendous change to the way Aruba has operated these last two years, from day-to-day business to the way visitors travel and enjoy their time on the One happy island,” Ronella Croes, CEO of Aruba Tourism Authority, said in a statement earlier this month. “However, with notable changes recently signaling a less severe disease progression, we have taken proactive steps for Aruba’s Path Forward to create a better environment for travel and tourism without jeopardizing our commitment to health and safety.”
Visitors between the ages of 12 and 17 can enter Aruba with a completed primary series of vaccines with no booster while visitors 12 and older who have tested positive between 10 days and 12 weeks prior to travel to Aruba showing no symptoms are exempt from the current requirement of providing a negative COVID-19 test result for entry to Aruba. Travelers will need to upload their proof of being vaccinated or COVID-free as part of Aruba’s Embarkation/Debarkation Card process no earlier than three days before arrival while visitors from the U.S. will need to use the SMART Health Card format to verify their vaccination status.
Despite the progress, Aruba’s government continues to encourage social distancing when possible and safe hygiene practices such as frequent hand washing as well as self-testing for COVID-19 when exhibiting symptoms. Meanwhile, face masks are still mandatory at the airport and recommended in indoor public spaces and at times when social distancing is impossible or difficult.
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