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Boracay opened to Western Visayas tourists starting June 16

Boracay will be allowed to accommodate tourists coming from Western Visayas provinces starting next week, according to the Boracay Inter-agency Task Force on Thursday.

"The local government here, Governor [Florencio] Miraflores and Mayor [Floribar] Bautista filed a resolution before the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force today and the task force approved the recommendation of the opening of Boracay for tourism starting June 16 this year, and will only be applicable for tourist coming from Western Visayas," Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said.

He added that locals from Aklan were already allowed to swim in the beach since June 1.

Those above 60 years old and below 21, however, are still not allowed to travel to the tourist spot.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the establishments in Boracay will have to follow safety protocols such as installing glass panels in lobbies, placing disinfectants, and implementing "no face mask, no entry" policy. Arriving tourists will also have to sign health declaration forms.

Activities that will breach social distancing protocols will be prohibited.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the gradual reopening of businesses in the tourism sector is allow in areas under the modified general community quarantine.

According to Año, officials decided to allow Western Visayas tourists in Boracay as the local government there was able to control the spread of COVID-19.

"First of all, ang buong Panay Island ay under na ng MGCQ. Maganda 'yung development dito sapagkat na-control nila 'yung mga cases... meaning to say tuloy-tuloy ang kanilang progress, under MGCQ, allowed na rin ang tourism," Año said at the same press briefing.

He said Boracay Island would be open later to tourists from other parts of the country.

Curfew implementation in the area depends on the discretion of the local government unit, Año said.

Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said not all activities in the tourist destination will be allowed as social distancing must still be practiced.

"Kung banana boat, it may not be allowed, particularly beach activities," Densing said. -NB/BM, GMA News