THE reopening of Boracay to more markets on October 1 would jumpstart the Philippines’ domestic tourism, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday.
“The reopening of Boracay to new market sources signals a gathering momentum for domestic tourism all over the country. We are pleased that the BIATF (Boracay Interagency Task Force) and the local government units of the Province of Aklan and Municipality of Malay have agreed to put health and safety as the priority as we carefully and safely welcome more guests to the island,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
During a special meeting with Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores on Tuesday, the BIATF approved the reopening of the island to travelers from areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) in addition to tourists from Western Visayas who have been permitted to enter Boracay since June 16.
Romulo-Puyat said the resumption of tourism businesses in the resort island would be “calibrated” with several measures in place.
Upon the reopening, travelers from GCQ and modified GCQ areas would be subject to the “test before travel” regulation that requires a negative RT-PCR result 48 to 72 hours prior to departure.
Among others, visitors would be advised to go on a strict quarantine immediately after a test and until the time of travel to the island.
Another key agreement advises airlines to use the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport in Caticlan, Municipality of Malay as the only airport of entry in moving tourists to the island.
Age restriction, meanwhile, was relaxed permitting travelers below 21 and above 60 years old with no comorbidity.
The DOT said Boracay’s health and safety guidelines would still be subject to continued enhancement.
To date, there are about 199 Boracay hotels and resorts representing 4,416 rooms with certificates of authority to operate issued by the DOT.
A Covid-19 Laboratory is also now operational at Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital in Kalibo, Aklan, which forms a part of the network of facilities and services needed in a safe environment for host communities, business stakeholders, and tourists. (PNA)