Boracay to accept tourists from GCQ areas
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Boracay will accept tourists from areas under general community quarantine or GCQ starting Oct. 1.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat said the Boracay inter-agency task force approved the reopening of the island to more tourists following a meeting with Aklan Gov. Joeben Miraflores on Tuesday.

Puyat said the recommendation would be presented to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF.

“Targeting a safe and calibrated resumption of tourism, several measures have been prescribed by the task force that includes test before travel and requiring a negative RT-PCR result 48 to 72 hours prior to travel to Boracay,” she said, referring to the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction swab test.

Puyat said travelers are  also advised to go on quarantine immediately after their swab test until the date of travel to the island.

It was also agreed during the meeting to ensure that air travelers enter only through the Godofredo Ramos Airport in Malay.

Boracay reopened to tourists from Western Visayas in June, including travelers below 21 and above 60 years old.

Baguio reopening

Meanwhile, Baguio City will accept tourists from Ilocos region, also starting Oct. 1.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the reopening of the city was postponed to allow concerned sectors to address technical issues on online registration and monitor coronavirus disease 2019 cases in two barangays.

Baguio was supposed to reopen to tourists starting on Tuesday.

An initial 200 visitors who will register through the Baguio Visitors Information and Travel Assistance or VISTA platform will be accommodated starting Oct. 1.

Magalong stressed that only visitors who would avail themselves of guided tours are welcome.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the IATF approved the use of rapid antigen testing for visitors in Baguio.

As this developed, Philippine National Police deputy chief for administration Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said police officials should coordinate with local government units that will reopen its borders to visitors.

Eleazar said the local police should ensure they are updated in the planning and implementation of security measures in their respective areas. – Ghio Ong, Artemio Dumlao, Christina Mendez, Emmanuel Tupas

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