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White sand beaches of Boracay ready for more local tourists on 1 October

Raymart Lolo

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Boracay Island will start receiving more local tourists from different parts of the country starting 1 October, the tourism department announced on Wednesday.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, the island paradise will start allowing visitors even from areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) which includes Metro Manila.

This development came as a result of a special meeting convened by the principals of the Boracay Interagency Task Force (BIATF) led by its Chairperson Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Co-Vice Chairpersons, Interior and Local Government Secretary Ed Ano and  Romulo-Puyat, with the Province of Aklan.

The BIATF leaders approved the request earlier made by the Aklan Province to expand Boracay’s reopening to domestic travelers in addition to tourists from Western Visayas who have already been permitted to visit the island since 16 June.

Targeting a safe and calibrated resumption of tourism business and operations on the island, the BIATF will impose measures that will ensure safety of the people of Boracay.

This includes the implementation of “Test Before Travel” which requires tourist a negative RT-PCR result 48 to 72 hours prior to travelling to Boracay. Travelers are also advised to go on a strict quarantine immediately after the test and until the time of travel to the island.

The Test Before Travel regulation will allow visitors from destinations under a GCQ classification to visit the island. Age restriction is likewise relaxed permitting travelers below 21 and above 60 years old with no comorbidity.

Airlines are also advised to use the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport in Caticlan, Municipality of Malay, as the only airport of entry in moving tourists to the island.

“We are pleased that the BIATF and the LGUs 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.” Secretary Puyat said.

“The reopening of Boracay to new market sources signals a gathering momentum for domestic tourism all over the country,” she added.

Since the island’s reopening to travelers from Western Visayas last June, the DOT has already issued Certificates of Authority to Operate (CAO) to 199 hotels and resorts representing 4,416 rooms.

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