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FAQs – Aruba Health & Happiness Code (HH-Code) 

Below are the questions that we acquired from the Aruba Health and Happiness code webinar. Should you have additional questions please do so through healthcode@aruba.com. For companies that have not registered yet, please go to click here and follow the steps to start your Aruba Health & Happiness Code Seal process. 

General Questions: 

After a business completes the registration and checklist for the Aruba Health & Happiness Code (HH Code) – when and how does the company get a confirmation for the pre-check seal? 
 

  • The average response time for an approval is one week. Should we need further information before finalizing the registration, one of our team members will contact you within two business days. In the case, that you have received neither, please check your junk mail first. In the case that you may have heightened firewall protection, our email may not reach you. Should you have question, please contact us at healthcode@aruba.com 

Within what timeframe will the DVG schedule an on-site visit and give the Gold Seal? 
 

  • Once we have crossed-checked your responses and approved it for the pre-check seal, we will notify DVG that your business progressed to the second phase of the HH Code process. Once you receive the pre-check seal, there is no specified timeframe between then and when the Department of Health (DVG) will inspect your business. Please bear in mind that the department's workforce capacity and resources do play a role in this process. Inspections occur in random order by DVG/ DWH, so please ensure that your business is operating and complying with all protocols at all times. 
     

What control mechanisms are set into motion after a business gets the Gold Seal? Will there be spot checks to see if protocols are followed? Will there be a reporting platform to ring a bell when a business is not complying with this protocol? 
 

  • As to ensure that businesses uphold the standards, DVG can always perform an additional visit if there is any speculation. In the future, consumers will be able to share feedback and experiences which are less favorable through e-mail. 

Is the HH Code required for tourism-related business only or all businesses across the board? 
 

  • The HH Code focuses primarily on companies within the tourism sector whose direct mission is to serve visitors as their clients. 

Is there a deadline to complete the registration and checklist for the HH Code, followed by the on- site visit? 
 

  • The deadline for the sector's accommodations, retail, food & beverage industry and food trucks is May 31st, 2020. 

If a business is not re-opening by May 31st, can they complete the registration and checklist for the HH Code and get the Gold Seal when they are ready to re-open? 
 

  • All eligible companies should complete the registration once they are ready to operate. This process is ongoing and can happen at a later stage as well; however, the sooner you follow the protocols and work requirements outlined by DVG, the better. If you complete the registration and checklist and do not qualify, we will contact you to discuss how and in what areas we can help you improve (you will be given an opportunity to apply the requirements without penalty and resubmit once you are ready). Unless a business is fully complying with the HH Code requirements and inspection(s), they will not be able to obtain the Gold Seal. 

Is the HH Code also required for companies that do not have contact with tourists, but their business depends on business partners that are tourist related? Example: local banks 
 

  • The seal does not apply to these companies; however, we do encourage social distancing and implementation of the necessary hygiene protocols for both employees and visitors as recommended by DVG. 

A hotel or mall may have an extensive list of businesses, such as restaurants, shops, and spas? Does a hotel/ mall have to complete the registration and checklist for the HH Code for each business? If there are multiple outlets, will they need to do so for each outlet? 

  • ALL businesses will need to fill out a separate registration form and complete the checklist, including the mall itself. This way, each company can receive its pre-check/ Gold Seal individually. 

What is the policy for malls like the Renaissance mall, Palm Beach Mall, and Paseo Herencia? 
 

  • Each mall is required to follow the same procedure by registering and completing the checklist and will go through the same process to obtain its HH Code seals. As a mall proprietor, we encourage you to ensure all businesses have filled in their registration and submitted the checklist individually. 

Do the following businesses need to complete the registration and checklist for the HH Code? 

  • Airlines – Airlines obey the international standards as well as their protocol 

  • Laundry – Not necessary. However, they may be requested by third parties to adhere to their protocols as a vendor. 

  • FBO (Private Airport) – Follow the international standards as well as their protocol 

  • Security business – Not necessary. However, they may be requested by third parties to adhere to their protocols. 

  • Nail salon – The HH Code is currently not applicable to nail salons. However, we kindly request you to implement social distancing and hygiene protocols outlined by DVG (where applicable) for personnel and clientele. 

  • Notaries, accounting firms, lawyers, etc. - Not necessary. However, we kindly request you implement precautionary measures such as social distancing and hygiene protocols outlined by DVG (where applicable) for your personnel and clientele. 

  • Subcontractors - Not necessary. However, they may be requested by third parties to adhere to their protocols. 

Questions about other tourism-related businesses: 

Events/ wedding planners – under which category do they fall, what are the protocols, and when can they re-open?

 

  • A.T.A. is currently working on this segment. 

Tour business – where can they get information? Is this Gold Seal addressed to the person or the van (I am a tour guide, but not the owner of the bus)? 

  • The Gold Seal is applicable for registered businesses, not individuals. Thus, as a tour guide, your company (or the one you work for) will be given the seal, not you as an individual. For further information, please contact us by phone or e-mail, and we would be more than happy to be of service. 

Where do you find the protocol for a Spa business in a hotel? 

  • A.T.A. is currently working on this segment.
     

Are there any requirements for groups specific? 
 

  • A.T.A. is currently working on this segment. 

Please advise the next steps for a business that caters to tourists if there is no icon or listing under phase 2. 

  • Depending on the sector, it may be activated soon, e.g., transportation companies, tour operators, taxis, spa, event companies, DMCs, and casinos. If your company is not mentioned in the above list, we recommend that you adhere to DVG rules on social distancing and hygiene for your personnel and clientele and stay up to date with the latest updated advisories from DVG. 

Will this be part of an internationally recognized seal/ program, or will it have some affiliation? 
 

  • The Aruba Health and Happiness Code is based on WHO guidelines; however, it is not internationally recognized. It is approved by DVG and is an integral tool that will be used for the promotion of Aruba in our National recovery plan. 

How much time will businesses get to prepare their location infrastructure with the mandatory measures set by DVG from the moment they've completed the registration and checklist for the HH Code and after the on-site visit by DVG? 

  • Once a business decides to open, the mandatory measures set by DVG should be in place to protect your employees and your clientele. The workplace requirements set by the DVG needs to be your main priority as a means to protect and mitigate future spreading of viruses. Once you receive the pre-check seal, there is no specified timeframe between then and when DVG/ DWH will inspect your business. Inspections occur in random order, so please ensure that your business is operating and complying with all protocols at all times. Once the on-site inspection occurs, DVG will advise the business whether they have passed the inspection. If there is something minor that needs adjustment, DVG will instruct you themselves and will notify you when they will pass by again to check so the business can obtain its Gold Seal. 
     

A business already got an inspection to obtain its permit. Now they have to prepare for distancing in workspace/ kitchen/seating/ registers, etc. so there will be some infrastructural changes being done to comply. Not all facilities will have the space to adapt to this in a short time or at all. What then? More use of PPE (personal protection equipment)? 

  •  1.5-meter social distancing is a mandatory component to safeguard our visitors and your clientele and employees. If the infrastructural changes cannot be made, we recommend you make seating unusable by clear markings and thus adhering to the 1.5-meter social distancing. 

Other Questions: 

What is the protocol for tourists' on-island (e.g., when they go to restaurants, retail shops, attractions, etc.)? 
 

  • We recommend visitors to visit www.aruba.com before arriving. Aruba.com will have all the latest information and updates for tourists before visiting. 
     

How will popular attractions (e.g., lighthouse, natural pool, etc.) be monitored for social distancing and avoid overcrowding? 
 

  • Public spaces are not regulated, so it becomes each individual's responsibility to maintain the minimum required distance of 1.5 meters from other parties/ people. 

Will Aruba require some type of a health certificate or affirmation from visitors, and can Aruba refuse entry? 
 

  • This matter is being thoroughly discussed and has not been defined yet. 

Is there a list of signs that you need to have in your store? 
 

  • Companies should have floor markings and/ or established seating management to ensure safe social distancing (1.5 meters). There is no specific list; however, our checklist requires that you do display and post updated public health advisories from DVG. Signage for handwashing procedures should be posted in lavatories as well. It is also imperative to develop a protocol or use relevant collaterals to educate employees on infection control and good personal hygiene. 

Is it mandatory to post the steps and directions in guest room corridors? 
 

  • Yes, it is mandatory to post in shared spaces to ensure everyone's safety. 
     

Do you have a checklist for the proper cleaning of busses – and where can you find these all in one place? 
 

  • A.T.A. is busy working on a checklist with relevant stakeholders. 

For establishments under renovation - do they need to register now, or can they do so after the repairs are done? 
 

  • They can do it later, but please bear in mind that the seal will not be given without proper registration, a completed checklist, approval, and inspection. The process will start once applied. 

Will a casino be able to open if there are no guests in the licensed hotel? 
 

  • Please verify with the respective GOA department for this specific question. 

Is there a plan on how to do better contact tracing in case the virus infects a person who works directly with tourists? Keep in mind that a tourist may be participating in more than one activity and visit several restaurants on the island. 

  • Aruba is contemplating a contact-tracing app. More information will follow in the near future. 


 

Questions regarding Accommodations 

For property management companies, is it required to complete the registration and checklist for the HH Code for each property/ accommodation/ home separately, and will each undergo an on- site visit by DVG individually as well? 
 

  • Yes, registration and completed checklist are required for each property to receive a separate seal for all addresses. DVG inspections are in random order, so there is a chance that each will undergo an on-site inspection by DVG individually 


Do the category "accommodations" apply only to transient accommodations? What about longer- term accommodations? 

  • The 'Accommodations' category applies to transient accommodations, timeshares, short term rentals. 
     

For hotels – will offices need to be filled in the checklist? 
 

  • A hotel fills it in once. Should it rent out spaces for retail or food and beverage, the businesses should apply for a seal separately. 
     

What is the procedure for beach activities, such as chairs and umbrellas? 
 

  • To be defined. 
     

Most vacation rentals (Airbnb) do not have a permit. What will happen to these establishments? 
 

  • These establishments need to inform the helpdesk of their arrangement with SIAD as to ensure compliance with the taxes incurred through vacation rental. 
     

Questions regarding Food and Beverage 

Are restaurants only allowed to open outside? On the other hand, can you open your restaurant inside after the check? 
 

  • Currently, only properties with open terrace are allowed to serve dine-in guests. In phase, three, starting from July 1, 2020, all restaurants can open. However, it is crucial to adhere and comply with DVG guidelines when opening. 

A restaurant will want to do the check before they re-open to ensure they have complied. If the DVG can only do an on-site visit after they re-open, how can they safely start? 

  • They can look up the protocols provided by DVG on https://www.arubacovid19.org/, and implement the precautionary measures. Once that is done, the restaurant will have to complete the online registration and checklist for the HH Code, also available on the website mentioned above. 
     

Would businesses have the option to keep part of their operations closed to comply with the rules to be open for business? Example – a bar with food service; just open for food and no bar service. 

  • Yes, this is possible. Just be sure that the part that remains open follows social distancing, and personal hygiene protocols outlined by the DVG. 

Are wholesalers also required to fill in the AH&HC? 
 

  • It is unnecessary, as these establishments are not the direct point of sale for tourists. 
     

What is the policy for kiosks that are small and almost impossible to maintain the 1.5m social distance? 
 

  • Social distancing is crucial and needs to be enforced one way or another. In confined spaces, such as kiosks, it warrants limiting the number of visitors entering the premises and regulating/managing (queue control) from outside the premises to safeguard the safety of your clientele and employee(s). 

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