INTERIOR Secretary Eduardo Año yesterday said the tourism island of Boracay is well-prepared for its re-opening on October 1 after several months of closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Año said he and Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores discussed the re-opening of the island attraction during a meeting on Tuesday night.
“They are actually well-prepared, including the protocols,” Año said of local and tourism officials during the Laging Handa press briefing.
One of the requirements agreed between the DOT, DILG and local officials is the submission of a “negative” PCR testing result for tourists before they are allowed to enter the island.
“Pagkatapos pagdating doon, mayroon na siyang assigned na QR code, then doon mismo sa Boracay mayroon tayong COVID isolation facility doon (After their arrival there, they will have an assigned QR code, and then in Boracay there will be a COVID isolation facility there),” he said.
“Kung mayroong mag-positive, ito ay dadalhin kaagad dito sa mainland kapag mayroong ma-detect dito na positive or even suspect, dadalhin ito sa Kalibo (Those who will test positive will be brought to the main island. If some is positive or even a suspected case is detected, they will be brought to Kalibo),” he added Año.
Año said he has seen the preparations being done by the concerned agencies for the re-opening of Boracay and concluded they are “well in place.”
Año said tourists from general community quarantine areas are already welcome to go to Boracay. Aklan, the island’s province, is under the more relaxed modified general community quarantine.
Meanwhile, Joint Task Forces COVID Shield chief Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar told police commanders to closely coordinate with local government units as more and more tourist spots are being re-opened.
“Early planning is essential in the success of local tourism. As police commanders, we have the obligation to ensure that there must be a balance between the revival of the local economy and the health safety of the people in this time of pandemic,” said Eleazar.
Tagaytay City has already opened itself to tourism early this month and Baguio City is also re-opening next month.
“We leave it to the LGUs to craft and implement plans for their respective local tourisms. Local police commanders, however, must ensure that they are always updated in the planning and implementation,” said Eleazar.