Boracay reopening to Western Visayas tourists on June 16

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Thursday announced Boracay island is reopening to Western Visayas tourists starting June 16.

Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores and Frolibar Bautista, acting mayor of Malay in Aklan, filed a resolution before the task force on Thursday, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary and IATF chair Roy Cimatu said.

“The task force approved the recommendation for the opening of effective June 16 this year. It will only be applicable to tourists coming from Western Visayas,” Cimatu announced during a virtual press briefing.

Tourists from Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Antique, Aklan, Capiz, and Guimaras are welcomed to visit Boracay, Cimatu cited.

Acting Mayor Frolibar Bautista of Malay lifted the swimming ban on last June 1.

However, tourists below 21 years old, and above 60 years old are still not allowed to enter the island.

The top destination was placed under a modified general community where travel for leisure is allowed. The island is already COVID-free for a month now.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat meanwhile clarified that establishments and amenities are still required to get Certificate of Authority to Operate before reopening their business. Owners need to submit a letter of intent to operate to DOT, she added.

Puyat also reminded business establishment to follow the safety and hygiene guidelines set by the Department of Health and the World Health Organization.

Such protocols include a ‘no face mask, no entry’ policy, wearing of a face shield, physical distancing measures as well as installation of glass panels and providing hand sanitizers in hotels.

Also read: Coron reopens for local tourists

Boracay reopening to Western Visayas tourists on June 16

Puyat also said some groups in the private sector donated reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) equipment to aid the COVID-19 testing in Boracay.

The Boracay IATF said carrying capacity is not a concern since only tourists from Western Visayas are allowed to visit the island for now.

Under the IATF for COVID-19’s omnibus guidelines dated June 3, “indoor and outdoor non-contact sports and other forms of exercise such as but not limited to walking, jogging, running, biking, golf, swimming, tennis, badminton, equestrian, range shooting, and skateboarding are allowed.”

“Provided, that the minimum public health standards such as the wearing of masks and the maintenance of social distancing protocols, and no sharing of equipment, are observed,” it added.

Nightlife on the island also would be permitted depending on the curfew guidelines issued by Aklan LGU.