Boracay Island welcomes back tourists

THE CROWDED BORACAY BEACH before the pandemic

MALAY, Aklan – Boracay Island is already accepting tourists from the NCR Plus bubble as residents under areas classified as general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ are now allowed to enter as provided for in Resolution 118A of the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases (EID).

Felix Gregorio Delos Santos, head of the Malay Tourism Office, said that tourists from Metro Manila (National Capital Region), Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, and Laguna) are already allowed to enter since these areas are under GCQ.

Delos Santos said same protocol and same requirements will apply for tourists coming from those areas although they are already required to use the S-PaSS (Safe, Swift and Smart Passage) online travel management tool.

“Still we require the negative RT-PCR, booking in DOT-accredited hotel establishments, QR code, valid ID, itinerary, and flight details,” he said.

Tourists have an option to use the saliva testing or nasopharyngeal swab test for the negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) as long as it is taken 72 hours before travel.

Tourists who are 2 years old and below, however, are exempted from the negative RT-PCR requirement.

Meantime, all documents that will be submitted by the tourists are still subject to validation by the provincial government of Aklan.

Delos Santos added that while he could not yet tell the impact of tourists coming from those areas, yet they are grateful since visitors coming from Western Visayas are not sufficient for the industry to recover.

“We hope that they could add to our tourist arrivals; we will know that hopefully by next week,” he added.

Last month, almost 1,700 tourists visited the island. The highest arrival in a day was 161 and the lowest was 11, he said.

Almost 268 establishments have the authority to operate on the island, which is equivalent to 6,000 room accommodation.

He added that so far Covid-19 cases on the island are contained and there is no more surgical lockdown being implemented.

Boracay has 318 cumulative cases from Barangays Manocmanoc, Balabag and Yapak.

Of the total cases, 26 are active, 291 have recovered and one died as per June 1, 2021 health bulletin of the Malay Inter-Agency Task Force Against Covid-19.

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