MANILA - Young and senior tourists from Western Visayas are now allowed to travel to Boracay Island, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Thursday, as the government further eases restrictions to boost the country's tourism industry.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the agency's recommendation to lift the ban on tourists younger than 21 years old and older than 60 on the world-renowned island.
Boracay earlier opened its doors to local tourists on June 16 following 3 months of coronavirus-induced lockdown.
"This move aims to further reinvigorate the tourism economy in the region and address the earlier clamor of Boracay tourism stakeholders to attract more tourists to the island," Puyat said in a statement.
The top Philippine tourist destination has not recorded a case of the novel coronavirus, and the tourism chief said health and safety protocols have been put in place against COVID-19.
"The DOT will always put paramount concern on the safety of our people -- tourists and residents alike," Puyat said.
To date, the tourism department has issued some 115 certificates of authority to operate to accommodation businesses, which provide some 2,635 rooms.
The provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental, all of which are under modified general community quarantine, comprise Western Visayas.
Boracay was closed to tourists in March to arrest the spread of COVID-19, which has so far sickened 74,390 people in the Philippines.
Of the nationwide caseload, some 48,136 patients are considered active cases where 90.1 percent have exhibited mild symptoms of the illness.
The total tally also includes 1,871 who died from the disease while 24,383 have recovered.
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