While foreign tourists outside of the Philippines were originally going to be welcomed, Boracay will only reopen to more domestic tourists Oct. 1, 2020. Tourists from areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) may visit the island beginning October 1.
Testing for COVID-19 Required Beforehand
However, all tourists will be subject to strict health protocols. Negative COVID-19 PCR test results 48 to 72 hours before travel will be mandatory. The costs for the PCR tests range from 4,500 to 8,000 pesos, 90 to 160 US dollars. They must then undergo a strict quarantine until the date of travel to the island.
Last June 16, Boracay Island reopened but only for residents in Western Visayas. There haven’t been enough visitors to sustain the local economy. Consequently, the Tourism Dept. pushed for more guests.
Moreover, if we went to Boracay again, we would have to undergo testing and a quarantine period when we returned to our home province of Guimaras. That’s in addition to the cost of the COVID-19 tests just to visit Boracay. Hence, we’re not planning any more trips to beautiful Boracay in the near future.
No Age Restrictions
The COVID -19 Task Force has approved the reopening of Boracay to tourists coming from areas under GCQ beginning Oct. 1.
According to a report from CNN Philippines, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat has asked for the lifting of all age restrictions. The Secretary’s reasoning is that all Filipino families travel together.
Currently, travelers aged below 21 and above 60 couldn’t visit the island paradise. However, the COVID-19 Task Force has approved the Secretary’s request.
CNN Philippines reports that the IATF-EID has said age restrictions for visitors would be relaxed. Restrictions will apply to those with comorbidities (more than one disease or condition.)
Book Ahead and Follow Health Protocols
Only the Caticlan airport will be open for tourists. We always book a van service from Iloilo City or take the Ceres bus. It takes about 4.5 hours with the van. The bus takes six hours to make the trip.
Guests will have to book accommodations ahead of their trip.
There are now over 200 hotels and resorts with over 4,000 available rooms. There is no maximum length of stay at the hotels. Tourism officials are encouraging visitors to stay as long as they like.
In addition, guests will go through the customary body temperature checks. They will have to fill up health declaration forms upon check-in. Establishments are also required to have sanitizing mats.
Tourists who exhibit virus symptoms will go to a nearby isolation facility. There they will undergo more testing for COVID-19. If the test yields a negative result, then they can proceed to the island. Otherwise, he or she will need to leave the area.
Officials are in talks with airlines and hotels on rebooking or refunding, should a guest fail to complete the trip.
BORACAY REOPENS TO MORE DOMESTIC TOURISTS OCT. 1
Foreign nationals may visit the island as long as they are in the country.
Face masks will be mandatory when strolling the white sand beaches of Boracay. Visitors will also have to observe other minimum health protocols, including physical distancing and hand washing.
Guests may only purchase two glasses or bottles of alcoholic drinks.