Boracay's Beaches Reopen to Island Locals

Tourists are still not allowed.

( From March to May, the Philippines' tourist destinations are always crowded with foreigners and local travelers hoping to have a tropical vacation like no other. But things are different in 2020 as COVID-19 has placed most of the country (and the world) in quarantine. Finally, Boracay—one of the world's best islands, by the way—is lifting the swimming ban as Western Visayas shifts to modified general community quarantine on June 1.

Boracay during quarantine in April
PHOTO BY Jack Jarilla Archives

"We may designate swimming areas along the 4.5-kilometer beach and regulate the number of those going there at a time. It will depend on a trial run in the next few days," Malay acting mayor Frolibar Bautista told Inquirer. He added that tourists are still not allowed on the island.

The municipality of Malay released a list of swimming guidelines on June 1:

  • Swimmers must register for the designated swimming area at the lifeguard station.
  • Body temperature will be taken before swimming.
  • Physical distancing should be observed.
  • Renting of goggles and snorkeling masks is prohibited. Swimmers must use their own.
  • Swimming is allowed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. only.
  • Swimming in areas with red flag is not allowed.
  • Areas designated for lounging and sunbathing are located after every 200-meter swimming-area mark.
  • Beach walking is allowed as long as you're wearing a face mask.
Willy's Rock along White Beach on Boracay Island. Photo taken in October 2018.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz Archives
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Designated areas for swimming are:

  • White House (Station 1)
  • Willy's Rock (Station 1)
  • Elizalde Compound (Station 1)
  • D'Mall (Station 2)
  • Mandarin Hotel (Station 2)
  • La Carmela (Station 3)
  • Paradise Garden (Station 3)
  • Puka Beach (Barangay Yapak)

According to the Department of Health, there are 117 positive cases in Western Visayas as of May 30, 76 of which have recovered, with 10 casualties. Aklan, specifically, has eight cases—seven of which have recovered.

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