Boracay tourists must take COVID-19 test 72 hours before arrival — IATF

Published October 16, 2020, 4:26 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Tourists planning to visit Boracay must test negative in a coronavirus test 72 hours prior to their arrival on the world famous resort island, Malacañang announced Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (RESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The government previously required Boracay visitors to take the diagnostic test for coronavirus 48 hours before traveling to the beach destination.

“The IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases) revised the 48-hour-prior-to-the-date-of-arrival negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) requirement to those traveling to Boracay Island contained in IATF Resolution No. 74,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said. “The Test-Before-Travel requirement now stands not earlier than 72 hours prior to the date of travel,” he added.

The task force made the adjustment in the testing period for tourists two weeks after Boracay reopened its doors to more visitors in a bid to revive the pandemic-hit tourism industry. Starting October, tourists from areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) such as Metro Manila are allowed as long as they test negative from the illness and arranged pre-booked hotel accommodations. The government has also relaxed the age restriction to tourists visiting Boracay.

“Kung dati po lahat ng mga turista ng Boracay ay kinakailangan magpa-RT PCR test 48 hours prior to arrival, ngayon po ay ginawang 72 hours prior to their date of travel. So pinahabaan po iyong period kung kailan pupuwedeng magpakuha ng PCR test bago bumiyahe patungo po ng Boracay (Before all tourists in Boracay are required to take a RT-PCR (real time-polymerase chain reaction) test 48 hours prior to arrival, now it will 72 hours prior to the date of travel. So it extended the period when a person must take the PCR test before traveling to Boracay),” Roque said during a Laging Handa public briefing Friday.

Roque earlier encouraged the public, especially residents of Metro Manila, to take a vacation in coronavirus-free Boracay after enduring a long pandemic lockdown. He said people should pass certain health and travel requirements before visiting the tourist destination.

“Panahon na po para tayo naman po ay magbakasyon matapos ng napakatagal na lockdown lalong-lalo na sa Metro Manila. nag-aantay na po ang pinakamagandang beach sa buong mundo — Boracay. open for business (It is time for us to take a vacation after a very long lockdown especially in Metro Manila. The world’s most beautiful beach is waiting for you. Boracay is open for business),” Roque said early this month.