Tourists who plan to experience the postcard-perfect views of the island province of Batanes need to wait a little longer as the local government executives remain reluctant to accept visitors until the year ends.
“The governor told us she didn’t want to open up even to domestic tourism for this year,” Tourism Secretary Berndette Romulo-Puyat said in a television interview.
The province is just among a few tourism destinations in which the authorities are still hesitant to welcome visitors outside their areas amid fears of contracting the novel coronavirus disease.
On Tuesday, the provincial government confirmed its first COVID-19 case, after a locally stranded individual (LSI) with travel history from Sta. Rosa City, Laguna recently returned to the province, and was found to be positive for the deadly virus.
It was the first-ever confirmed coronavirus case in the province after more than six months of being COVID-free.
As early as March, the local authorities announced the closure of its borders, imposing a travel ban on tourists and non-residents.