MANILA (AP): Two of the most popular Philippine tourist destinations, including the Boracay beach, have partially reopened with only a fraction of their usual crowds showing up given continuing coronavirus restrictions.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Friday (Oct 2) that 35 local tourists, including seven from Manila, came on the first day of the reopening of Boracay, a central island famous for its powdery white sands, azure waters and stunning sunsets
Only local tourists from regions with low-level quarantine designations could go, subject to safeguards, including tests showing a visitor is coronavirus-free.
The mountain city of Baguio, regarded as a summer hideaway for its pine trees, cool breeze and picturesque upland views, has been reopened to tourists only from its northern region, she told ABS-CBN News.
Despite the urgent need to revive the tourism industry, it’s being done "very slowly, cautiously, ” she said, adding mayors and governors would have to approve the reopening of tourism spots. "We really have to be careful, ” she said.
Like in most countries, the pandemic has devastated the tourism industry in the Philippines, which now has the most confirmed Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asia at more than 314,000, with 5,504 deaths.
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