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Before traveling to the iconic island, take note of these safety precautions.

For city-dwellers, the long lockdown only fuels an elusive fantasy of traveling out of town and out of the country. You couldn’t help but wax nostalgic on trips, especially to beaches with lush coconut trees and crystal clear waters. Imagining the warmth of the sun, the humid breeze, and the soft, powdery sand beneath your feet only makes the desire to travel stronger. Thankfully, you don’t have to fly very far to fulfill this dream, because the Department of Tourism announced the reopening of Boracay Island. While this is exciting news for some, there are safety protocols to follow before you can book a flight. Lifestyle Asia talks to well-known Filipino designer Dennis Lustico about his experiences in Boracay in the new normal. He shares following these guidelines is worth it as you savor the wonders of the island as you’ve always done.

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(Photo from Travel Daily Media)

Safety on the island

Before booking a flight, make sure you are a resident of areas placed under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ). Last June, the Department of Tourism also implemented age restrictions yet this is no longer applicable now. Even those below 21 years old and those above 60 can travel with their family to the island. For planes, these will land in a single airport: Godofredo Ramos Airport in Caticlan. A central airport will ensure a central focus on the screening of the tourists.

“The things that you take care [of] when going to Boracay pre-pandemic are generally just three: beachwear, sunblock, and atm/credit card,” Dennis Lustico says. Now, every visitor must have a negative RT-PCR test result, securing the test within 48 to 72 hours prior to arrival on the island. You must fill out an online Health Declaration Card from the province of Aklan as well. After accomplishing this, they will give a QR Code for you to present at the airport in Boracay. “Lastly, [bring] our new daily staples and preventive paraphernalia,” Dennis adds, “face shield, [face] masks, and alcohol.”

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LEFT: Dennis. RIGHT: Dennis and Lulu Tan Gan.

A breath of fresh air

Dennis shares the new measures can be quite strict as he and his friends undergone “endless temperature checking, QR code monitoring, and signing papers,” he says. The staff has to confirm your trip details every time you enter their establishment. So, make sure you carry important documents with you everywhere you go.

Upon securing these logistical aspects, it is time to savor the glorious beauty of Boracay. “The moment I arrived at the hotel, I just sat [on] the beachfront and said nothing,” Dennis muses. I was speechless at the pure beauty before my eyes and I just thought what a gift we have.” From the sunlight casting an effect of sparkling crystals on the waters, the iconic stretch of powdery white sand, to the people around who are glad to welcome visitors again, the experience is pure bliss. “The breeze takes away your worries and the spectacular Boracay sunset will make you look forward to another beautiful day [on] the island,” Dennis elaborates.

Sunset in Boracay taken December 2019.

Amid the constant worrying about the pandemic, taking a pause is essential. For some, it’s getting away from the city, having a breath of fresh air, and basking in the beauty of nature. No matter where you plan to go, keep in mind to follow safety precautions to further appreciate your trip after months of lockdown.

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