Wear anti-virus mask in Boracay, but remove when swimming: Tourism chief


Posted at Oct 02 2020 10:15 AM

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MANILA - Tourists who wish to visit resort island Boracay must observe health and safety protocols but may remove their face masks when swimming, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said Friday.

"I always say, wear a mask when it makes sense," Puyat said when asked about an earlier proposal that tourists must wear masks even when swimming.

"The question was magwe-wear ng mask pag magsi-swimming. Hindi naman siguro," she told ANC's Headstart.

(The question was do you have to wear a mask when swimming. I don't think so.)

Puyat said restaurants in Boracay have to follow the same rules as in other areas under modified general community quarantine, such as prohibiting entry to those without face masks and accepting only up to 50 percent capacity.

Some 35 tourists (7 from Metro Manila) visited Boracay on its first day of reopening on Thursday. Those from outside the province of Aklan had to be tested 48 hours before arrival.

Visitors must also fill up a health declaration form in the Aklan website to be given a QR code, which shall be used for contact tracing throughout their stay in the island. Those who will manifest symptoms while in the island will be brought to an isolation facility to be tested again.

Airlines and hotels have agreed to allow rebooking and refund should tourists exhibit symptoms and can no longer push through with the trip, said Puyat.