Boracay eases age restrictions for Western Visayas tourists

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
Boracay eases age restrictions for Western Visayas tourists
This photo taken on June 17, 2020 shows a general shot of empty famous white beach of Boracay Island in central Philippines, as community quarantine against COVID-19 still continues throughout the country, with foreign tourists still banned on beaches.
AFP / Ernesto Cruz

MANILA, Philippines — Boracay will now welcome minors and senior citizen tourists from Western Visayas Region.

This, after the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the Department of Tourism’s recommendation to relax the age restrictions on Thursday.

The world-famous island earlier banned entry of tourists aged below 21 and above 60 due to health and security reasons.

The country’s top tourist destination only reopened its doors to tourists from the Western Visayan region in June upon the recommendation of the Boracay Inter-agency Task Force.

It was closed for around three months after it was placed under community quarantine in March in a bid to curb COVID-19. Boracay is now under modified general community quarantine, the most relaxed community quarantine phase where traveling for leisure purpose is allowed.

The Western Visayan provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental are also under MGCQ, with low COVID-19 risk.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, a member of both Boracay IATF and IATF-EID, already informed tourism stakeholders of the lifting of the age limit requirement to Western Visayas tourists through a letter also sent out Thursday.

She welcomed the IATF-EID’s decision.

"This move aims to further reinvigorate the tourism economy in the region and address the earlier clamor of Boracay tourism stakeholders to attract more tourists to the island," Puyat said in a release.

The tourism chief said there were no reported COVID-19 cases on the island, adding that security and health protocols will be implemented.

"The DOT will always put paramount concern on the safety of our people — tourists and residents alike," she said.

Puyat earlier said that “all Accommodation Establishments  that intend to commence commercial operations in Community Quarantine Zones, whether for the accommodation of guests or operations of in-house food facilities for take–out or delivery, shall secure a DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) prior to any operations.”

As of July 23, the DOT Western Visayan issued 115 CAO to accommodation establishments, covering some 2,635 health protocols-compliant rooms.

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