As the Omicron wave recedes further in the Caribbean, another nation is moving ahead in relaxing travel rules for foreign visitors. The small island nation of Aruba, one of the most popular resort hotspots in the region, has officially become the 16th destination to remove all Covid entry requirements as of March 19, 2022.
A constituent part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, this Dutch outpost in the Americas is famous for its year-round warm climate and colorful colonial-era streets. With its simplified border regime, Aruba is now one of the easiest nations for tourists to visit both in the Caribbean, and the wider Dutch world.
Travelers Can Now Travel To Aruba Under Pre-Covid Rules
From March 19, all travelers arriving in Aruba will no longer be subject to presenting a negative test or disclosing their vaccination status, as island authorities abolish all existing health requirements. This means those who have been vaccinated, and even the ones who have not, can again enter without testing and quarantine.
This marks a significant change in approach for Aruba, which imposed tough protocols throughout the pandemic, going as far as barring entry to vaccinated Americans holding a paper CDC card. Now that all travel curbs have been lifted, visitors from everywhere are again welcome irrespective of immunization.
On the other hand, there is still a requirement to complete the Embarkation/Disembarkation Card (ED Card) at most 3 days prior to arrival. This is a simple form tourists can fill out online. While up until now they have been expected to add their Covid proof of entry, after March 19 this will no longer be the case.
Additionally, all visitors still purchase the Aruba Visitors Insurance. It can be obtained through completing the online ED Card. Once the form has been successfully submitted and payment for the insurance processed, the policy documents will be delivered via email.
As per the official website guidelines, visitors are still free to buy or use their own health insurance to ‘supplement’ their ED Card/Aruba Visitor Insurance, but they cannot replace it. The insurance has coverage of US$75,000 and, according to Visit Aruba, protects travelers from a vast majority of health expenses should they test positive while abroad.
- No pre-departure testing
- No post-arrival testing
- No quarantine
- No mandatory vaccination certificate
- Embarkation/Disembarkation Card (ED Card) still required
- Aruba Visitors Insurance also still mandatory
- No country banned due to high infection rates or variants
What Were The Rules For Traveling To Aruba Previously?
Prior to the update, visitors were equally required to present a completed ED Card and Aruba Visitors Insurance. However, a negative molecular test performed within 3 days of departure was required, or a rapid antigen test at most 1-day preceding travel.
Those eligible to visit, and who were able to present a vaccination certificate, could bypass testing. Travelers who had been infected with Covid at least 10 days before flying, and at most 12 weeks in advance, could also enter freely by presenting their positive test.
On top of that, vaccinated Americans were not allowed to present physical vaccination cards, though SMART Health Cards had been widely accepted. This requirement presented further challenges to U.S. citizens, as paper certificates are widespread across the United States.
Are The Other Dutch Caribbean Nations Also Open For Visitors?
In the Dutch Caribbean, Curaçao has also removed all entry requirements, reassuring visitors testing and vaccines are no longer a requirement. Unlike both Aruba and Curaçao, Sint Marteen is yet to abolish travel curbs, requiring an Electronic Health Authorization for visitors and still discriminating between the fully vaccinated and unvaccinated.
All of those who are not yet vaccinated, or who were infected more than 9 month ago, must present a negative test in order to visit Sint Marteen. Over in Europe, the mainland Netherlands still imposes stricter rules compared to its Dutch counterparts, though it has recently removed quarantine for American tourists.
Having loosened its border rules, Aruba could see an influx of visitors coming, especially as airlines look to boost their connectivity to the Caribbean as a whole, and the region gears up for a full reopening before summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It does not mean, however, it will not have strong competitors.
Other tourism giants of the likes of Saint Lucia and Jamaica are also easing restrictions, while Mexico has famously scrapped literally all Covid travel documentation, including the increasingly common pandemic-era health forms. With the current wave seemingly nearing its end across the Caribbean, travelers should expect more countries to reopen soon.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com