Boracay welcomes domestic travellers

ILOILO CITY, Philippines, 9 June 2021: Boracay Island is welcoming domestic tourists from the National Capital Region Plus (NCR) bubble as residents under areas classified as General Community Quarantine and modified GCQ are now allowed to visit the island.

According to a Philippines News Agency report, Malay Tourism Office head Felix Gregorio Delos Santos said tourists from Metro Manila (National Capital Region, Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, and Laguna are already allowed to enter since these areas are under GCQ.

But requirements even for domestic travellers are tough. Travellers must show a negative RT-PCR test certificate, book in DOT-accredited hotel establishments via a QR code, and provide itinerary and flight details along with national ID details.

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 was taken 72 hours before they travel.

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

Finally, all documents submitted by 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.

Last month, almost 1,700 tourists visited the island. The highest arrivals count in a day stood at 161, and the lowest 11, which is a fraction of the visits Boracay would normally see.

Waiting for recovery are 268 establishments that have the legal authority to operate on the island, a portfolio that offers 6,000 rooms. Most of them have remained empty and moth-balled since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020.

Boracay has so far contained the spread of the virus on the island without resorting to lockdowns that were prevalent last year.

Boracay latest count shows it has 318 cumulative cases from Barangays Manocmanoc, Balabag and Yapak. Of the total cases, 26 are active, 291 have recovered, and one died based on data filed 1 June.

(Source: PNA)