Boracay Island to open on Oct. 1 for residents from GCQ areas
Marje Pelayo • September 24, 2020 • 181
MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force has approved the proposed reopening of Boracay Island starting October 1 following recommendation from the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Such a move is part of the government’s recovery efforts from the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The resumption of tourism in Boracay would mean residents from areas under general community quarantine, including Metro Manila will soon be allowed to enter the island.
However, the government reminds the public of the strict health and safety protocols that go with the reopening of the famous tourist destination.
One of which is mandatory swab testing for all visitors before they can be allowed entry.
“Isa sa mga requirements na pinag-uusapan iyong RT-PCR (test) bago pumasok doon sa isla (One requirement under discussion is the RT-PCR test before entering the island),” noted Tourism Undersecretary Benito Benzon.
“Mayroon pa ring pagmomonitor ng movements ng mga turista pagpasok sa Boracay, so kailangan may pre-arranged reservations ,may QR code iyan para namomonitor lahat ng pumapasok (Monitoring the movement of tourists inside Boracay remains in place so they need to have pre-arranged reservations, QR code, to monitor every person that comes in),” he added.
For his part, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año assured that Boracay is now prepared to accept visitors.
If in any case, a COVID-19 positive slips into the island, the agency has prepared enough facilities for isolation.
“Doon mismo sa Boracay ay mayroon tayong COVID isolation facility doon. Kung mayroong mag-positive or suspected, dadalhin agad sa mainland [Aklan] (There is a COVID isolation facility inside Boracay. In case someone tests positive or suspected of having the disease, the patient will be transferred immediately to the mainland [Aklan]),” the official said.
“Well in place ang nakita namin preparations nila (Their preparations are well in place),” he assured. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – The conduct of limited workshops, trainings, seminars, and other related events will now be allowed in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) during a meeting on Thursday decided to allow the following events to be held in GCQ areas, with venues to be filled up to 30 percent capacity:
Consumer trade shows
Roque said these events may be held in venues such as restaurants, in general; restaurants attached to hotels; ballrooms and function halls within hotels; venues within hotel premises; and mall atria.
The IATF has directed the Department of Tourism and the Department of Trade and Industry to jointly issue the necessary guidelines, he added.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Monday evening (November 30) the new round of community quarantines from December 1 until December 31, 2020.
Aside from Metro Manila, other areas placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) include Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Lanao Del Sur, Iligan City, Davao City and Davao Del Norte.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country remains under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until the end of the year.
Given the new restrictions, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reminds all agencies and local government units to intensify information campaigns on health protocols this holiday season.
“Mabuting manatili sa bahay, at magkaroon lamang ng maliit na salo-salo kasama ang immediate family members upang maiwasan tayong mahawa at ang ating mga kapamilya, (It would be best to just stay at home and have a small buffet with immediate family members to avoid getting infected and transmission among family members),” said Duque.
This was supported by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año adding that it would be best to refrain from large gatherings like partying and caroling.
“Iyon pong family reunion ay considered mass gathering, katulad po ng sinabi ni Sec. Duque, immediate family lang sana ang mag-celebrate at kailangan po ang minimum health standard ay ipatutupad (Family reunions are considered mass gathering. Like what Sec. Duque said, it would be best to celebrate with immediate family and minimum health standards are observed),” he said.
Duque said the Department of Health (DOH) is now preparing its facilities in anticipation of the the surge in COVID-19 cases after the holidays.
For President Duterte, still the best preventive measures against any infectious disease is proper hand washing, wearing of facemask, and staying at home. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — Intramuros and the country’s dive sites have once again bagged accolades at the 27th World Travel Awards, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported on Saturday (November 28).
The DOT said the award-giving body has recognized the Philippines as the World’s Leading Dive Destination and Intramuros as the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2020.
“We are incredibly grateful for the recognitions given to the Philippines’ magnificent dive sites and the beautifully-restored heritage site of Intramuros at the 27th World Travel Awards,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
“We will continue to promote sustainable, inclusive, and world-class tourism, especially now as we slowly reopen our attractions to more domestic tourists,” she added.
The DOT said that it is the Philippines’ second time to win the World’s Leading Dive Destination.
It bested eight (8) different dive destinations such as Azores Islands, Bora Bora, French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galapagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Maldives, and Mexico.
The DOT media release also said that the agency recognizes dive tourism, as well as increased visitor count, extended length of stay, and higher tourism revenue, as one of the key areas for positive industry growth.
The department, on the other hand, reported that it is Intramuros’ first time to win World’s Leading Tourist Attraction, beating fifteen (15) different attractions such as Acropolis of Greece, Burj Khalifa of Dubai, the Grand Canyon National Park of USA, Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania, and Taj Mahal of India, among others. —/mbmf
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