ILOILO CITY – World-famous Boracay Island might be closed again to tourists if the national government places Aklan under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) status to curb the number of COVID-19 cases.
“We submitted an appeal that Aklan won’t be under MECQ,” said Mayor Frolibar Bautista of Malay, where the country’s most famous beach destination is located.
The COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has recommended that the Aklan will be under MECQ status for July 16-31.
“Even if it’s just two weeks, there will be a negative impact to Boracay businesses, workers, and residents,” Bautista said.
Boracay registered its highest tourist arrivals in the pandemic last June with 26,354 domestic tourists.
“The national government should reconsider,” Bautista pleaded.
Aside from Malay, the Aklan provincial government under Gov. Florencio Miraflores also sent its appeal to the IATF.
Dr. Mary Jean Juanico, head of the infectious disease cluster of the Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) said COVID-19 cases in Western Visayas are going down although the risk classification for Iloilo City is high and moderate for both Bacolod City and Aklan.
But Juanico is hoping the risk classifications of Aklan and Bacolod City will become stable as their growth in terms of cases in the past two weeks are classified as low risk although their average daily attack rate (ADAR) remains moderate.
As of July 13, the Department of Health (DOH Region 6) recorded 1,710 active COVID-19 cases in Aklan.