Despite the new COVID-19 cases in the island, tourism industries in Boracay continue to operate.
Image: Malay Municipal Tourism Office - Aklan Facebook Page
In two months’ time, the country will have been battling the coronavirus pandemic for one whole year. Despite the health crisis, businesses, industries, and offices continue to operate and adapt to “new normal” living. To survive the pandemic and revive the economy, business establishments and tourist destinations strive to create a safe environment. This applies to the famous island resort in the Philippines
, Boracay Island, which reopened to domestic tourists in October 2020.
Since summer is fast approaching, travelers around the country are now making plans for vacation trips to beaches. If you are planning to visit the vibrant beaches of Boracay Island soon, you should know about the COVID-19 updates in Aklan
, the province where it is located. Read on to see a roundup of the COVID-19 updates in Aklan
COVID-19 Updates and Cases in Boracay Island
Recently, the island resort has been recording new cases of COVID-19. With that, fake news spread on social media about the island’s supposed imminent lockdown. But according to Aklan Acting Mayor Frolibar Bautista, Boracay will not go under lockdown and will continue to open its beaches to domestic tourists.
Meanwhile, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa, the resort that recorded at least 15 cases of COVID-19 from its personnel, temporarily suspended its operations. The government of Aklan ordered a five-day closure of the luxury hotel to contain the spread of the virus. Following authorities’ orders, the resort conducted a massive disinfection of its facilities while the hotel workers went on self-isolation. In response to the temporary closure order, Shangri-La Boracay also stopped taking reservations for January 22 to January 28.
Hotels are not the only ones being checked meticulously; travel requirements of visitors are validated closely as well. So far, visitors to the island who presented fake negative COVID-19 test results have been arrested by authorities. According to Boracay Informer, cases of forged medical certificates from domestic tourists occur almost weekly since the island reopened last October. In response to the forgeries, the provincial government of Aklan stated that it will no longer issue probationary quick response (QR) codes to incoming tourists; instead, the QR codes will only be given when all documents, especially the test certificates, have been validated.
As of January 26, 2021, Aklan has recorded 594 COVID-19 cases. The mayor reminded citizens that the wearing of face masks and face shields is compulsory anywhere, whether it is indoors or in public areas. Meanwhile, Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat asked all enterprises in Boracay to practice responsible tourism and warned them that violations would result in suspension and closure of these establishments.