After seeing a deep decline in tourism due to the COVID-19 outbreak, crowd-favourite vacation spots Boracay and Coron are finally open for local tourists! Here’s everything you need to know.
Also read: 5 Ways You Can Support the Local Tourism Scene After COVID-19
Since March, Boracay has been closed to tourists due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But as the quarantine started to ease, so have operations at the world-renowned island. Starting 1 Jun 2020, the local government authorised locals to swim in Boracay’s beaches.
On 16 Jun 2020, Boracay finally opened its borders to residents of Western Visayas. As per the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force, entry is limited to 21 to 60-year-old residents from Negros Occidental, Guimaras, Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, and Aklan.
Hotels in Boracay are required to observe strict health and safety protocols to counter COVID-19. Some safety regulations include installation of glass panels in lobbies, and provision of footbaths and temperature scanners in entry points and disinfectants in common places. Like so, hotels can only accept a limited number of guests due to the social distancing ordinance.
Still following the protocols Boracay set during its reopening, only those with confirmed accommodation bookings will be allowed entry to the island. However, because of the numerous protocols, fewer hotels can afford to reopen. As of 16 Jun 2020, only six hotels have been allowed to operate.
Also read: The New Boracay: What to Expect When Returning to the Island Paradise
Coron’s most famous tourist attractions are now open to local visitors. Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon and Barracuda Lake started welcoming tourists on 12 Jun. Most island activities, such as island hopping and scuba diving, have also been in operation since 6 Jun.
Entry is restricted to residents of Busuanga, Coron, Culion, and Calauit. Those who want to visit must process a permit from the Philippine Coast Guard. Like in Boracay, only tourists who are 21 to 60 years old may enter.
Tours are allowed in Coron, as long as they follow the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) guidelines. To avoid overcrowding, the island will only accommodate 250 island hopping tours and 30 scuba diving tours daily. Boats may only carry 50% of their carrying capacity.
Also read: Food, Scenery, Unbelievable Experiences: These Philippine Destinations Have Them All!
While waiting for Boracay and Coron to reopen for visitors from around the country, why not start planning out your itinerary? Make sure to check out our articles on Boracay and Coron for some travel inspiration!