FULLY-VACCINATED tourists going to Boracay will no longer be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result starting sometime in November as the island will soon hit 100% inoculation for residents and workers, according to the Tourism department.    

Bohol, another popular destination, has lifted the test requirement following a meeting Friday by the provincial task force against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

In a statement on his Facebook page, Gov. Arthur C. Yap said the province’s mayors and members of the local medical society agreed that a negative test result can now be waived for tourists who will present a full vaccination proof from the Department of Health’s VaxCertPH system.    

Mr. Yap has signed an executive order on the new rule that takes effect Oct. 25.  

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, in a statement on Sunday, said Governor Florencio T. Miraflores of Aklan, which has jurisdiction over Boracay, has made a “commitment… to accept visitors with proof of full vaccination — in lieu of a negative RT-PCR test result — once the island reaches a 100% vaccination rate among its residents.”  

As of Oct. 24, the Department of Tourism (DoT) estimated a 91% vaccination rate among tourism workers on the island and 62.78% for residents.   

“Our vaccination rollouts are crucial in protecting our tourism workers as they face visitors every day. With 100% of tourism workers in Boracay inoculated, the DoT is confident that in the weeks to come, tourism arrivals on the island will further increase and more tourism establishments will be able to reopen to restore jobs,” Ms. Puyat said.   

With restrictions eased since the second week of September, DoT said Boracay recorded 6,702 arrivals that month and 17,995 in the first three weeks of October.    

DoT also said there were no new active cases on the island as of Oct. 18.  

The entire Aklan province, covering mostly areas within the Panay mainland, had 197 active COVID-19 cases as of Oct. 23.  

“We believe that with the 100% inoculation of the island’s workers, the confidence of more Filipinos to travel will be restored, and that the island will be back on its feet sooner than anticipated,” said Ms. Puyat. — MSJ