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Boracay, Bohol, Baguio drop swab tests

Republika

The move to open up the economy to fully-vaccinated visitors has been well-received by tourist and travel-oriented businesses in the island Boracay of Aklan. The local government had nixed the need for negative swab test results, however tourists will need to present vaccination certificates issued by the Department of Information and Communications Technology.


Boracay’s vaccination target is expected to be reached by the end of the month, making it the first tourist destination to have workers and residents fully jabbed.


Boracay business operator Julia Lervick said: “Let’s make it easy to move around again and let our economy recover. No more need to fill in endless forms and get government approval to travel.”


She added: “But it should be the same for locals coming back to the island – if vaccinated, then it should be easy to travel. In that way, we can maintain the island as a safe zone and tourists will start going here.”


As well as doing away with the swab tests, the 10 p.m. curfew has also been abolished. According to Lervick, tourists and locals alike expect to be able to “have some fun” and experience ease in moving around.


The province of Bohol has also adopted the same relaxed restrictions under alert level 2. Gov. Arthur Yap issued an executive order lifting the RT-PCR requirement for fully jabbed tourists.


While this is so, non- or partially vaccinated tourists can still enter the region, but must present a negative swab test result taken 72 hours prior to departure. Those found to be faking their vaccination cards or test results face a fine of P5,000 and will be quarantined for 5 days in a Department of Tourism-accredited facility.


Up north, Baguio City expects to vaccinate 90% of its population by December, reaching herd immunity. About 61%, or 173,000 residents, have been fully dosed, while over 64,000 residents still need their second dose.


Mayor Magalong aims to vaccinate more than 90% of the city’s population by year’s end. Meanwhile, inoculation for 15 to17-year-olds is awaited, as minors were asked to register.


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