Boracay resort starts disinfection, deep cleaning of facilities
ILOILO CITY—The posh Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa has started disinfecting their facilities after at least 15 of its personnel tested positive for the new coronavirus.
In a statement issued by Shangri-la Boracay dated January 23, the management of the resort said it is not accepting new guests from January 22 to 28 after “a small number of colleagues have been diagnosed with COVID-19.”
“During this time, we will conduct further deep cleaning and disinfection of the resort. This is on top of the already rigorous hygiene and sanitation protocols being implemented on property,” according to the statement.
It said the resort “is in full compliance with the guidelines provided by the local authorities with regards to next steps after our colleagues undergo (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) testing.”
The statement did not mention how many employees of the resort were infected but sources told the INQUIRER at least 15 have tested positive for the new coronavirus with results of several others pending release.
Shangri-la Boracay said those infected were placed in isolation according to health guidelines.
“We can confirm these colleagues were asymptomatic and did not exhibit any outward symptoms or reported feeling unwell on the days they were on duty. Comprehensive contact tracing has been conducted and as a precautionary measure, close contacts of the affected colleagues have also been asked to self-isolate until further notice,” according to the statement.
It said all affected will be assisted and provided with alternative arrangements.
“We remain in close contact with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and all relevant authorities and will continue to act in the best interest of all our guests and colleagues,” it said.
The sprawling resort located in Barangay Yapak is among the top accommodation establishments on the island.
A source told the INQUIRER that more than 20 guests of the resort were transferred to another hotel in Boracay while incoming guests who have already booked accommodations have been given the option to be accommodated to another hotel, reschedule their arrival or get a refund.
Without identifying the establishment, the Department of Tourism (DOT) issued a generic statement dated January 23 encouraging the “prompt treatment of affected workers and backs the temporary closure of establishments concerned for general disinfection procedures as part of the health and safety protocols.”
It said the agency’s office in Boracay will “ensure the safe and convenient relocation of guests to other establishments or isolation facilities, should there be any close contact with affected health workers.”
“All workers and guests of DOT-accredited tourism enterprises in Boracay Island are enjoined to practice responsible tourism to effectively manage the COVID situation in the area. Warnings, suspension or closure await those who violate established rules and regulations,” according to the statement issued by the DOT’s Office of Public Affairs and Advocacy.
The Department of Tourism earlier allocated P10 million through the Tourism Promotion Board for the free testing of Boracay tourism workers.
Boracay Island was reopened to tourists from Western Visayas starting June 16 and from other areas since October 1.
Tourists bound for Boracay are required to submit a negative RT-PCR test result before being allowed to enter the island.
In December, tourist arrivals soared to 15,307, the highest since it resumed accepting tourists.
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