Boracay opens designated swimming areas

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The world-famous Boracay Island in Malay town, Aklan has reopened its beach for tourists as the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) started on Monday, June 1.

Six of the eight designated swimming areas started to accept tourists, said acting Malay mayor Frolibar Bautista.

Three of the assigned swimming areas are located at Station 1, two each at stations 2 and 3, and one at Yapak village.

“We will open two more this week. We have put red flags on non-swimming areas,” he said.

Bautista said beach viewing and sunbathing are allowed at the intervals of the 200-meter swimming areas. 

This is to ensure that crowding will be avoided in one space, he said. 

The local government unit has put up lifeguard stations assigned to screen tourists upon entering swimming areas.

“Swimmers must be subjected to temperature checking upon entry. They will also have to register their names, address, and contact numbers before they will be allowed at the beach,” he said, adding that health standards like wearing of face masks and strict observance of physical distancing are being implemented.

Swimming areas are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., he said.

Bautista said locals and other stranded individuals in the island had started swimming activities on Monday.

The Philippine National Police and local officials have been deployed to make sure that guidelines are followed, he said.

Water sports activities like paraw sailing will also be allowed by the local government but also subject to health protocols.

“I will issue separate guidelines for that,” he said.

Meanwhile, business establishments and other tourism-related establishments need to pass the inspection of the Malay’s composite team before operation.

“They will be inspected if they have installed foot baths, hand sanitizers, transparent barriers for front desks, health posters, among others,” he said.

Employees who will be allowed to enter the island will be verified first at Malay’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO).

“We will verify first if the establishment where they work is already allowed to operate,” he said.

Bautista said accommodation establishments, meanwhile, need to apply before the Department of Tourism 6 to comply with the guidelines on operation under community quarantine. Gail Momblan/PNA



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