Minimal number of tourists in Boracay due to strict restrictions ‘expected’, official says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 1) — Only 26 of 95 booked tourists arrived on the first day of Boracay’s reopening and this is “expected” when it comes to the stringent restrictions the province has implemented in the famous destination, a local official said.

Governor Florencio Miraflores told CNN Philippines on Thursday that the low turnout can be attributed to the protocols requiring tourists to have a negative RT-PCR test result 48 hours prior to travel, aside from many other factors.

“We feel that this is necessary so that we can protect our people here in the island and the province of Aklan,” he said.

Miraflores added that people are still afraid to travel because of the pandemic, that is why the provincial government is making sure to strictly implement the minimum safety and health protocols

“We expected this because of the pandemic, people are still afraid to travel," he said. "We in Boracay, here in Aklan, we also want to ensure that when the tourists come, they will feel safe and confident enough.”

Boracay has maintained a zero COVID-19 record since it opened its doors to tourists from Western Visayas on June 16.

Miraflores said the island wants to be ready once it receives an influx of tourists in the coming months as soon as people feel safe to travel for leisure.

Tourists are required to wear face masks unless during swimming sessions. There is also no liquor ban in the island but discos and bars will remain closed.