8 Boracay tourists caught with fake COVID-19 test results

ILOILO CITY—At least eight tourists visiting the popular Boracay Island in Malay town, Aklan province, were taken into custody for presenting fake tests results for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A couple walks along the white sand beach of world-famous Boracay Island when it reopened to domestic tourists last October. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

“There were eight violators during the first week of the year,” said Malay Mayor Frolibar Bautista.

All eight were already in the country’s most popular beach destination when it was discovered they did not have legitimate COVID-19 test results.

“We have made a stern warning, but there are people who are willing to violate,” Bautista told The Manila Bulletin in an interview Friday, January 8.

Since Boracay reopened to domestic tourists last October 2020, the national government implemented a policy requiring incoming tourists to submit results showing they are negative for COVID-19.

Bautista reiterated the warning that those who want to visit Boracay should follow the proper protocols.

“Otherwise, they should not attempt to come. They will waste their time and their money.  They will also face criminal charges,” Bautista said.

The mayor was referring to a similar incident last December 2020. Authorities filed criminal charges against six tourists for falsifying and tampering public documents when they submitted fake COVID-19 test results.  They also faced violations of Republic Act No. 1332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.