Boracay authorities on ‘high alert’ vs COVID surge repeat

PHOTO CAPTION: With the easing of restrictions, said Malay chief of police Lt. Col. Don Dicksie De Dios (foreground), the police force in Boracay Island is on heightened alert against health safety guideline violations./iNews

BORACAY–As restrictions in Boracay are eased, authorities are finding they have to deal with an increasing number of people violating health protocols.

According to Malay police chief Lt. Col. Don Dicksie De Dios, they have been apprehending more violators for not wearing face masks and not heeding curfew hours—now from 12 midnight to 4 am—since the island was placed under Alert Level 2.

Violators of the curfew face a P2,500 penalty or a maximum of two months of imprisonment for the first offense, a fine of P2,500 or a maximum of four months imprisonment for the second offense, and a fine of P2,500 or a maximum of six months imprisonment for the third offense.

De Dios said the police force has been directed to ensure compliance with public health guidelines by all tourists, establishments, and residents to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Pag hindi bakunado ang turista, kailangan ang swab or saliva test. Nandito pa rin ang pandemya at coronavirus. Sumunod tayo sa mga ordinansa dito para hindi tayo matiketan [If the tourist is unvaccinated, a swab or saliva test is required. There is still a pandemic; the coronavirus is still around. Let us follow the ordinances so as not to be ticketed],” he stated.

It was reported that at least 29 individuals were apprehended on November 21 for various violations, including public urination.

For his part, acting mayor Frolibar Bautista also reiterated firm reminders to residents to follow all existing health protocols, including social distancing.

“Hindi pa tapos ang pandemya; kailangan mag-ingat tayo lagi [The pandemic isn’t over yet; we should always be careful],” he said.

Bautista added that a local ordinance prohibiting minors in public places between 10 pm and 5 am might be amended to include placing liability on their parents if they are caught.

The latest data shows Boracay Island welcomed 40,474 tourists from November 1 to 21 or 1,900 visitors per day on average. Of the said figure, almost half came from the National Capital Region.

There have been no active COVID-19 cases in Malay since November 3. (Boy Ryan Zabal/iNews-Aklan/Boracay Bureau)

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