A man and his dog enjoy the beach in Station 2 Boracay (Image by travelphotographer from Pixabay)

Rules for entering Boracay Island gets more relaxed as young and senior tourists are now allowed in the famous beach island, but they should still come from the Western Visayas region.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo–Puyat made the announcement after the Inter–Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF–EID) approved on July 23 the Department of Tourism (DOT) recommendation to lift the ban on tourists below 21 and above 60 on Boracay island. 

After three months of community quarantine, Boracay Island reopened its doors to tourists from Western Visayas aged 21 to 60 last June 16. 

As earlier ruled by provincial and local government leaders of the region and the Boracay Inter–Agency Task Force (BIATF), the lifting of the ban on younger and older tourists will apply only to residents of Western Visayas, reiterated Puyat. 

“This move aims to further reinvigorate the tourism economy in the region and address the earlier clamor of Boracay tourism stakeholders to attract more tourists to the island,” said the tourism chief. 

Despite the incidence in early June involving a COVID-19 positive Bureau of Fire Protection Region VI personnel who visited the island, Puyat noted that there were no reported coronavirus (COVID–19) cases on the island, and assured government support in ensuring that health and safety protocols are in place upon arrival of local visitors. 

“The DOT will always put paramount concern on the safety of our people – tourists and residents alike,” she said. 

As of today, the DOT Western Visayas has issued a total of 115 certificates of authority to operate (CAO) to accommodation establishments, covering some 2,635 health protocols compliant rooms. 

Western Visayas (Region 6) comprises the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental, all of which are now under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).