By Isabelle Go
Photo credit: CNN Philippines/JL Javier
For those who love to travel, the occurrence of the COVID19 pandemic has been a challenging period. Exploring different countries and cities feels like a distant memory and throughout all the announcements on travel bans and lockdowns; we find ourselves stuck saying “I miss travelling”. But worry no more as leisure tourism in the Philippines is gradually re-opening to accommodate domestic tourists. Rest assured, various destinations from around the country have now opened with the implementation of COVID19 protocols and travel restrictions to promote safe travels.
If you are looking for a getaway destination amidst the pandemic, Boracay island is one to consider. Boracay is undoubtedly one of the prime destinations of our country. The island was temporarily closed but it has since been open on October 01, 2020 for all tourists residing in the Philippines. Boracay amidst the pandemic does not diminish the tourist experience as it still embodies its scenic beauty with its stretch of powdery white sand and clean blue waters. However, due to the prioritization of health and safety concerns, there are a couple changes on the island.
Abiding to the “new normal”, crowded shores and beach parties are not part of the Boracay experience like before. But nonetheless, you can still expect to have a wholesome experience in Boracay by engaging in outdoor activities that are relatively safer. These include al fresco dining, swimming in beaches and outdoor pools, parasailing, jet skiing, paraboarding, and many more regulated activities with not much crowding involved.
So is it safe to travel to Boracay now? The answer is yes, as long as the LGU and tourists continue to comply with the following required travel documents:
Negative RT-PCR Test Result or Saliva-based RT-PCR Test Result processed by the Philippine Red Cross or laboratories accredited by both the Department of Health (DOH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (Note that the test should be taken 72 hours prior to your flight to Boracay for this to be valid)
Confirmed booking from DOT-accredited establishments
Health Declaration Form with QR code (Register online in https://www.touristboracay.com)
Approved S-Pass Registration (https://s-pass.ph)
Round Trip Flight Ticket
The travel documents mentioned above should then be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to your visit to Boracay.
As tourists, be sure to always be precautious. Wear your face masks when in public places and only remove them when necessary, and follow social distancing as much as possible. As of September 15, 2021, The Malay-Boracay Tourism Office announced that Boracay will be accepting tourists from MGCQ, GCQ, and NCR (alert level 4). For those coming from alert level 4 areas, only travelers aged 18 to 65 years old are allowed to travel for leisure starting from September 16, 2021. Unfortunately, those with comorbidities or those who are currently pregnant are not allowed to travel to the island due to health and safety concerns. It may sound like a hassle to go through all COVID19 protocols and strict travel requirements but remember that these are implementations directed towards building hope that the Philippine tourism industry can once again bounce back and operate under better circumstances, giving livelihood opportunities back to tourism workers and of course, giving tourists great memories. Together, let us engage in responsible and safe tourism!
For more information, you may visit https://aklan.gov.ph