There’s a chance you might never get to walk on the pristine beach or swim in the clear waters of Boracay ever again. That’s if you fake your COVID-19 test results, according to Malay Mayor Floribar Bautista.
According to Philstarlife.com, travelers looking to enter Boracay who fake their PCR tests will be declared personae non grata unless they change their face and name. Bautista reiterated that the ban will be applicable not just for the duration of the pandemic or until all health requirements have been lifted. The ban will be for life.
On December 7, six tourists were arrested on the famous island for falsifying their COVID-19 tests to enter the land. They had arrived two days earlier. In January, some individuals from two different groups were caught and forced to leave Boracay for the same reason.
In February, the Department of Tourism filed cases for Falsification of Public Documents against the six Manila-based tourists. Three of these tourists tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Because of its popularity not just among Filipinos but to foreign tourists, Boracay is considered the crown jewel of Philippine tourism. In fact, the island consistently ranks on top of the lists of Condé Nast and Tripadvisor’s Best Island Destinations and Best Beaches in the World.
In 2020, Boracay lost P57 billion due to the travel restrictions imposed in line with the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, Bautista urged travelers to visit the island, saying, “Boracay has no other industry except tourism. Please come, we need your money in order for the people on this island to survive.”
In line with this, Boracay is one of many destinations in the Philippines that are keeping their negative RT-PCR test requirement after the IATF’s confusing Resolution 101 “lifting the mandatory COVID test requirement.” Given that the safety of everyone is at stake, getting tested legitimately is not only considered responsible, it would be the right thing to do too.