The local government of Aklan’s Malay town said around 500 tourists on Boracay Island were stranded in their hotels and other accommodation establishments as the municipality was placed under general community quarantine on Thursday night.
Malay Mayor Frolibar Bautista told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that those stranded were mostly foreign tourists.
Bautista said he was assured by Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. that the tourists will be transported back to their respective home destinations.
“I talked with Usec Boncato earlier. He said they are arranging the documentation of the visitors. So, the Department of Tourism has the assurance on how they (tourists) can go out of Aklan,” Bautista said.
In the meantime, he said the local government unit will extend support to the tourists as some of them have already run out of money.
“Food, for one, because they are short of money so it is important that we can provide it for them,” he said, adding that the provincial government of Aklan is helping out.
Bautista said he already ordered the tourist establishments not to neglect the stranded island visitors.
Elena Brugger, chapter president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)-Boracay, said they were also assured that the tourism department is on top of the situation.
Bautista said staying tourists can still enjoy the island provided that they follow measures that aim to curb the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“We are aware of the measures and they follow social distancing. They also follow the curfew hours from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.,” he said.
Although incoming tourists are already banned on the island, boat trips from Caticlan Jetty Port and Passenger Terminal to Cagban Jetty Port Terminal continue to operate from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. Bautista said it caters only to Malay workers and residents.
He also assured that the island is free from the virus and none of the tourists were identified as persons under monitoring. (PNA)