Malacañang said the reopening of the Boracay Island only signifies that the tourism sector has to revitalize itself as the threat of COVID-19 still exists.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after it was announced that Boracay will start to receive visitors from areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) starting October 1.
In his Monday presser, Roque clarified that the reopening of the world-class white-sand beach does not mean that the country is already out of the woods.
He said it only means that workers in the tourism sector must now also work.
“It means kinakailangang balansehin talaga natin ang katotohanan na kinakailangan magtrabaho na yung mga nasa sektor ng turismo (It means we need to balance the reality that workers of the tourism sector must now resume work),” he said.
“Na pupwede namang mangyari kung pangangalagaan natin ang ating mga kalusugan (It means that it is possible for us to work if we just take care of our health),” he added.
Starting October 1, Boracay will open its doors to visitors from GCQ areas as on as they test negative for the COVID-19. It will likewise follow strict testing, quarantine, and health protocols.
“Effective Oct. 1, Boracay Island may accept tourists from areas within a community quarantine classification of GCQ or lower, apart from travelers from Western Visayas,” Roque said in a statement last week.
According to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, the reopening of the Boracay Island to more local tourists will build momentum for the country’s domestic tourism.
“The reopening of Boracay to new market sources signals a gathering momentum for domestic tourism all over the country. We are pleased that the BIATF and the LGUs of the Province of Aklan and Municipality of Malay have agreed to put health and safety as top priority as we carefully and safely welcome guests to the island,” she said.