Boracay relaxes quarantine rules for fully vaccinated travelers | Inquirer News
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VAX CARD IN LIEU OF RT-PCR TEST

Boracay relaxes quarantine rules for fully vaccinated travelers

/ 05:02 AM November 13, 2021

OFF TO THE BEACH Tourists on Boracay Island flock to its famous main beach on Nov. 4 as restrictions are loosened. Fully vaccinated travelers are no longer required to submit a negative swab test result when entering the island starting on Nov. 16. —JACK JARILLA

ILOILO CITY — Fully vaccinated tourists will be allowed to visit Boracay Island by submitting vaccination certificates instead of negative swab test results starting Nov. 16.

Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores said he issued an executive order on Friday that lifted the yearlong requirement for a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for visitors of the island-resort.

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Visitors may submit either a vaccination certificate issued by the Department of Health (vaxcert.doh.gov.ph) or a locally issued one that should have verifiable quick response (QR) codes or a certificate of vaccination issued by the vaccinating center.

In the absence of vaccination certificates, tourists still need to submit a negative RT-PCR test result, the governor added.

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The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the local governments of Aklan and Malay town, where the island is located, were targeting to inoculate 12,809 active tourism workers and 24,451 residents before totally opening up the island, as part of efforts to help the tourism industry recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic.

As of Nov. 9, some 94.98 percent (23,223 residents) of the target have already received the first dose while 69. 83 percent (17,074) have been fully vaccinated. Almost all targeted tourism workers have received their first dose, reaching 12,711 (99.2 percent) with 12,039 (93.99 percent) fully vaccinated.

Dramatic increase

The DOT welcomed Miraflores’ announcement, noting that the island had experienced a “dramatic increase” in tourist arrivals in the last two months, totaling 32,452 visitors in October, as COVID-19 cases continue to decline and leisure travel restrictions are loosened.

“We hope to see even more visitors for the months of November and December given this positive development, and ensure everyone’s safety altogether now that Boracay’s fully vaxxed tourism workers are at 94 (percent) while it’s entire eligible population is at 70 (percent) vaccinated,” according to a DOT statement.

Tourist arrivals on Boracay Island reached 11,794 for the first week of November, 6,826 or 57.87 percent of whom were from Metro Manila.

Most establishments on the island have been struggling to survive after Boracay was forced to close to tourists in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

Tourists from within Western Visayas were allowed to visit the island on June 16, 2020, and from other areas on Oct. 1, 2020, but were required to present a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours before traveling to Boracay.

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TAGS: Aklan, Boracay Island, Department of Tourism, RT-PCR test result, Swab Tests, vaccination certificates
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