Aklan

No more RT-PCR requirement for fully-vaccinated Boracay, Aklan travelers

Jun Aguirre
No more RT-PCR requirement for fully-vaccinated Boracay, Aklan travelers

WHITE SAND BEACH. An aerial view of the shoreline of Boracay Island, Philippines.

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The move is expected to jumpstart the return of tourists to the world-famous island. The national government has exempted fully-vaccinated tourists from mandatory quarantine starting February 10.

Fully-vaccinated travelers will no longer be required to present negative RT-PCR test results to gain entry to Aklan and to Boracay island, under an executive order issued by Aklan Governor Florencio “Joeben” Tumbocon Miraflores on Tuesday, February 1.

The move is expected to jumpstart the return of international tourists to the world-famous island, as the national government has exempted fully-vaccinated foreign arrivals from mandatory quarantine starting February 10.

Aklan reimposed the RT-PCR requirement on January 5, following a surge in cases thought to be linked to the more infectious Omicron variant.

The province’s latest move follows those of Negros Occidental and Bacolod and Iloilo cities that have also waived RT-PCR tests for fully-vaccinated travelers.

All of these Western Visayas areas remain under Alert Level 3 until February 15.

Until the last week of January, Aklan, Bacolod, and Iloilo City were under the Department of Health’s “critical” local government units in relation to COVID-19.

Under the new EO which was to take effecti immediately, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals – whether returning residents or local or foreign visitors – will have to present negative RT-PCR test results taken not later than 72 hours prior to arrival in Aklan.

Miraflores placed mainland Aklan under curfew from 9 pm to 4 am but gave Malay town, which includes Boracay, discretion to set curfew hours on the island.

On February 1, the town shortened the curfew in Boracay from 1 am to 4 am.

All tourists and travelers need to fill out a contact tracing form and get a QR Code from https://www.touristboracay.com/ . Those heading for the mainland should click the corresponding icon on the same page.

Boracay recorded 33,756 tourist arrivals from January 1 to 28. – Rappler.com