Philippine tourism

Boracay may scrap COVID-19 test for vaccinated tourists

Aika Rey
Boracay may scrap COVID-19 test for vaccinated tourists

BORACAY. Tourists on the shore of Boracay.

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Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat says this could be implemented within November, ahead of the Christmas season

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said Aklan may do away with the requirement of negative COVID-19 swab tests for vaccinated tourists ahead of the holidays.

In an interview with ANC’s Headstart, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat said the Aklan provincial government appeared open to the request as long as tourism workers and residents are fully vaccinated, which she said is what the DOT “has been doing.”

“According to him (Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores), in a month’s time or maybe in three weeks’ time, he will already be accepting fully vaccinated in lieu of RT-PCR,” said Puyat on Wednesday, October 27.

“But of course, if you’re not vaccinated, you still have to give a negative RT-PCR,” added Puyat.

A fully vaccinated individual is someone who already had either a one-dose vaccine or their second dose of a two-dose vaccine for at least 14 days, the tourism chief explained.

As of Sunday, October 24, 91% of tourism workers and 62.78% of the eligible population in Boracay have been vaccinated.

“For Christmas, in December, all you have to show is that you are fully vaccinated…. You just have to show the VaxCertPH [vaccine certificate],” said Puyat.

VaxCertPH is the Philippines’ national digital vaccine certificate system.

As of Monday, October 25, Cebu, Kalibo, Bohol, Tacloban, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, and Iloilo no longer require tourists to present a negative swab test result.

Puyat said the airlines are “very excited” with the news on Boracay.

AirAsia on Monday announced that it will be having a P1 fare sale from October 25 to 31, with travel dates from October 25, 2021, to October 29, 2022. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.