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Aruba drops all COVID-19 restrictions this weekend

March 19, 2022
5 min read
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino Pool Cabana
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Starting this weekend, Aruba will become the latest tropical tourist destination to drop all COVID-19 travel restrictions. As of Saturday, the Caribbean island will end its requirement that travelers present proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or negative test. The changes take effect Saturday, March 19.

Leaders in Aruba announced the decision Tuesday, more than a month after dropping pre-travel testing requirements for vaccinated visitors.

With this move, Aruba joins a growing list of countries ending or significantly scaling back restrictions as the COVID-19 situation has improved. This change means visitors wanting to vacation on the island face far fewer hurdles to enter.

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Requirements still in place

Travelers entering Aruba will still be required to complete an embarkation form before arrival. The form is part of the country’s digitized customs and immigration process. The questionnaire asks for identifying information, including passport details. The form also includes a section where visitors can input their travel plans and answer health questions.

Related: USVI drops testing requirements for vaccinated visitors

Aruba’s website also mentions that masks are still mandatory at the airport. Like many places in the U.S., individual establishments can choose to require mask-wearing in public. We found some resorts on the island, for instance, that still had mask requirements listed online.

Otherwise, the country lifted all other mandatory safety measures effective Feb. 17, besides the need to be vaccinated or show a negative test, and now that requirement has been removed for visitors.

Traveling to Aruba

With fewer restrictions in Aruba, and with COVID-19 cases here in the U.S. a fraction of what they were a few months ago, demand for travel is certainly on the rise.

There are plenty of options for booking flights to Aruba, but you have to plan carefully if you’re hoping for a direct flight to the island. Nonstop flights to Aruba come from airports that are major hubs for U.S. airlines, with about a dozen or more options depending on the season, and with the most direct flights out of the eastern U.S.

Related: Updated country-by-country guide to reopenings

Traveling from the northeast, one of the best options I found over the spring months involved a round trip between May 4 and 11 departing from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) on United with nonstop flights in each direction. The fare goes for $318 in regular economy or $278 in basic economy. On United, basic economy means you can’t pick your seat or bring a full-sized carry-on bag for free.

The option is even better if you have MileagePlus miles to spend on United: the round-trip option for that same itinerary: 17,000 miles for a round-trip ticket in economy. Based on TPG’s March 2022 points and miles valuations, the value of that trip booked on miles is about a 30% savings over the economy cash fare.

(Screenshot from United Airlines)

Where to stay

Many of the large hotel chains have hotels in Aruba, including Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton and others.

For travelers looking to use points to book their stay, I found a good value for that same week in May at the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort & Casino. The nightly cash rate of $341 comes to a grand total of $2,391 for the whole stay.

(Photo courtesy of Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino)

On the other hand, you can book the stay for 240,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (including one night free when you stay at least five consecutive nights). TPG’s valuations suggest that’s a savings in value of about 19%.

(Screenshot from Marriott)

Traveling home

While you will be free from restrictions as you plan your journey to Aruba, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the requirements for getting home.

As of now, the U.S. has not ended its requirement that all incoming flyers -- regardless of vaccination status or citizenship -- show a negative COVID-19 test result. As TPG has reported, there are some options for satisfying this requirement with a video-supervised, at-home test. However, keep in mind, this generally does not include the at-home tests you can by over-the-counter at your local pharmacy.

Bottom line

As of March 19, Aruba joins the list of countries that have no restrictions for incoming travelers. At a time when more and more people are feeling comfortable booking travel -- including international travel -- there are plenty of options to use the miles and points you’ve saved up as you plan a vacation to the Caribbean island.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases