RELAXED REQUIREMENTS. The island of Boracay will soon accept fully vaccinated individuals without needing to secure a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result. The relaxing of requirements is expected to help revive the island’s tourism industry, Aklan Governor Florencio T. Miraflores said on Friday (Oct. 22, 2021). (PNA file photo)

ILOILO CITY – Fully vaccinated tourists can soon enter Boracay in Malay, Aklan without presenting a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test once the island population is fully inoculated.

Aklan Governor Florencio T. Miraflores, in a virtual press conference on Friday, said this move is meant to revive the island's tourism industry.

While the negative RT-PCR test is still being required, the governor said he will be issuing an executive order either by the end of this month or next month scrapping the requirement.

As proof, they have to secure their vaccination certificate from in addition to presenting other documentary requirements such as reservations from a hotel accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT), travel details, valid identification card, and their Swift, Safe and Smart Passage (S-PaSS) enrollment.

However, tourists that have only availed of the first dose are still required to present a negative RT-PCR result.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, in the same press conference, said the DOT, local government units, and the private sector have been doubling their vaccination efforts.

As of Oct. 19, 2021, she said 91.96 percent or 11,779 out of the target 12,809 active tourism front-liners have already been vaccinated.

She added that 11,668 of the 91.96 percent are already fully vaccinated.

Including eligible residents of the whole island, the accomplishment as of Friday is already at 77.87 percent.

Puyat said that as per data provided by their regional office, 70 percent of the eligible population in the island, composed of residents and tourism workers, is at 24,451.

On Thursday, she said that 35,100 doses of Pfizer vaccines have already arrived on the island enough to cover the remaining population.

“Boracay will be the first tourist island destination that will have 100 percent vaccinated not only tourism workers but residents in the whole country by the end of the month,” she said.

Meanwhile, Miraflores said that starting October 23 they will be opening another vaccination site in Barangay Manocmanoc to fast-track the roll-out.

At the start of the vaccination rollout in July, the local government of Malay has opened vaccination sites at Paradise Garden Resort Hotel and Convention Center Boracay and the City Mall.

Currently, the average number of tourists a day is only at 700 compared with the 6,000 a day before the health pandemic, the governor said.

As of October 18, DOT has already certified 29 accommodation establishments, one travel and tour agency with the government-issued safety seal.

Further, 299 accommodation establishments for a total of 12, 452 rooms and 28 tour guides were given accreditation by the DOT. (PNA)