DOT, Aklan execs to discuss possible reopening of Boracay to other tourists
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism will discuss again with local officials in Aklan in the next two weeks the possible reopening of Boracay to tourists from other regions.
The top tourist destination reopened on June 16 but only for residents of Western Visayas.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the DOT respects the decision of local officials in the province who explained they want to first see the effectiveness of the health protocols they have put in place for the limited reopening.
“In two weeks we will talk to them again, and we will decide and they will maybe give us a recommendation if they are open to opening it up to other places that are also under modified GCQ (general community quarantine),” Puyat said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Thursday.
The tourism chief made the statement after the reopening of Boracay was spoiled by the confirmation that a Bureau of Fire Protection personnel in Western Visayas stayed on the island a day before the results of her rapid test for the coronavirus that causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was released. The BFP personnel tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The BFP chief in the region was ordered relieved following the incident, while the accreditation of the hotel in Boracay where the BFP personnel had stayed had its accreditation revoked since it did not have a certificate to operate at that time when the employee stayed at its premises.
Puyat also revealed that “a lot” of local government units, although under modified GCQ where tourism is already allowed, are still hesitant to reopen their tourist spots considering that the threat of the coronavirus disease is still present.
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