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BORACAY Reopens, Ushering In A “Safe, Slow” Revival Of Philippines Tourism

Kristian

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The reopening of Boracay, the Philippines’ top destination, to new market sources signals the Boracay, the Philippines’ top tourist destination, reopened to new market sources on Thursday, signaling the country’s tourism industry’s safe and progressive recovery amid the pandemic, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said (Oct. 1).

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Department of Tourism (DOT) Assistant Secretary Roberto Alabado III, together with Department of Tourism (DOTr) Undersecretary Artemio Tuazon Jr. and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Deputy Director General Donald Mendoza conduct an inspection of health and safety protocols in one of the beachside restaurants in D’Mall, Boracay.

The reopening of the island, she added, is a “critical first step” toward domestic tourism revival, generating momentum for tourism across the country. This, she continued, provides a ray of optimism for the country’s tourism industry, particularly for people who rely on tourism for a living.

“What better way to mark the rebirth of Philippine tourism than the reopening of the world-famous Boracay Island?” she wondered.

Puyat stated that no coronavirus (COVID-19) cases had been detected on the island and pledged government assistance in ensuring that health and safety standards are in place. She emphasized that the Department of Tourism’s top focus remains the safety and well-being of visitors and residents (DOT).

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Residents of Brgy. Manoc-manoc and Brgy. Balabag join the clean-up drive organized by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) at the beachfront area in Station 3, Boracay Island.

“The DOT, the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) including DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano, the province of Aklan, and the municipality of Malay have implemented strengthened hygiene and safety measures in entrance points, hotels, and activities,” she said. We recommend that all travelers be quarantined immediately following the PCR test and throughout the duration of their visit to the island. This is to guarantee that they do not contract COVID-19 before visiting Boracay.”

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A delegation consists of officials of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and other government agencies arrive at the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport on September 30, a day before the reopening of Boracay island to tourists from General Community Quarantine (GCQ) areas. Floor markers are installed and marshals are likewise present at the airport to ensure strict physical distancing between arriving passengers.

 The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force has now authorized visitors from additional regions under a general community quarantine (GCQ) classification to reach Boracay, after the acceptance of travelers from Western Visayas in June.

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Aside from temperature checks and hand sanitizing, Boracay island has set up a QR code system for easy monitoring and contact tracing among visitors.

While the age limit has been loosened to allow tourists under 21 and over 60 years old to reach the island through the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport in Caticlan, Puyat stressed that only individuals without underlying medical issues and those with negative RT-PCR findings will be allowed to do so. The test must be completed at least 48 hours prior to going to the island.

A confirmed reservation in a DOT-accredited lodging facility, flying tickets, and negative test results should be submitted electronically to the Aklan province government for clearance at http://aklan.gov.ph. Each guest who has been granted permission to visit the island will be given a personal QR code that will be tracked.

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Prior to entering Boracay, tourists must accomplish an online Health Declaration Form (HDF) and submit requirements to the Aklan Government, in exchange for a QR code which will be scanned at the entrance of ports and various establishments around the island.

While health and safety standards have been put in place, the success of Boracay’s reopening will be largely dependent on one essential factor: the compliance and cooperation of the island’s visitors, according to the tourism chief. “We encourage our visitors to travel responsibly. Respect the rules and follow the standards. We can never be too relaxed about our health; even on vacation, we must follow the bare minimum of health guidelines. When feasible, let’s wear our masks,” Puyat remarked.

In the meanwhile, each DOT-accredited hotel will have a designated health and safety officer who will phone the Boracay COVID Hotline number 152 if any of the guests show signs of the virus. Should a guest test positive for the coronavirus while on the island, the data from the QR code system will be utilized to identify close contacts.

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Famous for having spectacular sunrise and sunset views, Boracay Island is reopened to tourists from General Community Quarantine (GCQ) areas starting October 1, following the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in its Resolution No. 74.

The DOT supported the transfer of critical medical equipment to assure the destination’s readiness to deal with COVID-related issues. Among these were donations from the Makati Medical Center group, which included medical staff training at the Ciriaco S. Tirol Hospital and the Boracay Clinic. In addition, the Filinvest City Foundation donated RT-PCR machines to the Covid-19 Laboratory being built at the Dr. Rafael Tumbokon Memorial Hospital in Kalibo, in collaboration with the Crimson Hotel Boracay.

Everyone calls me Ian. This website is about my everyday life experiences. Back in 2011, I use to write on my first blog. (www.stuckinthephilippines.blogspot.com) I started this website as a place where I can express my creative inside. I love visiting new places, listening to music and anything fun.

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1 Comment

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    Roxas Edgardo

    October 2, 2020 at 7:50 am

    Thanks for sharing this kuya ,,, This is so really Nice na muli nang magOopen ang isa sa mga Dinadayo na Beach.. But we really need Safe fisrt parin talaga … 💕💕

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