The island's new measures will be called the Aruba Health & Happiness Code.

By Stacey Leasca
May 20, 2020
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In early May, Aruba announced tentative plans for reopening the island to inbound tourists. Though officials have yet to share an official opening date (authorities are hoping to open between June 15 and July, 2020), it has revealed new health protocols to keep both tourists and residents safe.

On Tuesday, the Aruba Tourism Authority, along with the Department of Public Health, announced the new Aruba Health & Happiness Code, which it calls a “stringent” cleaning and hygiene certification program that will be mandatory for all tourism-related businesses.

"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," Danguillaume Oduber, Minister of Tourism, Public Health and Sport of Aruba, shared in a statement. "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.”

To implement the measures, the tourism association distributed best practice guides to hotels to assist them in expanding their existing cleaning protocols and to help them adjust to a new normal in post coronavirus life.

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According to the tourism board, the guidelines call for extra cleaning during luggage handling, elevator safety, housekeeping guidelines, food and beverage service, casinos, and more. As for visitors, the tourism board explained in a statement that they should “expect such measures as plexiglass barriers at desks, digital keys and contactless check-in, thorough disinfecting of all public spaces and rooms, and more.”

These protocols, the tourism board said, will also extend to national parks and tourism attractions.

“Aruba's renowned Arikok National Park will adhere to the certification guidelines and is creating digital experiences to help reinforce social distancing including virtual guided tours of the park,” the tourism board explained in a press release. “For the first time ever, the Park will permanently ban ATVs (starting June 1) and UTVs (starting October 31) from protected areas. This will help preserve nature and limit how many people can access the park, ultimately providing a more intimate experience for visitors.”

Beyond the new certification program for hotels and public spaces, the Aruba Airport Authority also worked alongside the Department of Public Health to implement new guidelines at airports. Using guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), the airport will now implement health screenings and temperature checks with on-site medical professionals, and put in social distance markers as well as “additional shields and safeguards, mandatory PPE training for all staff,” and more. Soon, you’ll be able to travel again, just be prepared for the experience to look a lot different than it used to.