Business owners seek separate quarantine review for Boracay
ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — A group of business operators in Boracay has appealed for a separate evaluation and designation of the local community quarantine status based on specific COVID-19 conditions on the island.
“As Boracay becomes increasingly vaccinated, and all entry into Boracay becomes subject to testing, the number of cases can continue to decrease. We recommend using the statistics in Boracay to determine Boracay community quarantine status,” Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)-Boracay said in a statement.
The appeal came amid a new peak of tourist arrivals on the island since March last year when the pandemic was declared.
In a July 15 letter to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), the business group said the situation for the rest of Aklan province might not be reflective of the situation on the resort island.
“Boracay Island does not seek any special treatment. We would like to be subject to the same decision-making matrix, same guidelines and policies as outlined by the [IATF],” according to the group.
Tourists bound for Boracay are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result before their trip to the island.
COVID-19 vaccination has also been ramped up with the Department of Tourism and the local governments of Aklan province and Malay town targeting the inoculation of at least 17,000 tourism workers and 23,000 residents of Boracay.
The provincial government is anticipating a more restrictive community classification from the current general community quarantine status amid an increasing trend in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Last month, arrivals reached 26,354, the highest since the pandemic was declared in March last year.
—NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.
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