'3-piece swimsuit': Boracay beachgoers must don anti-virus masks, says official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2020 11:52 AM

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Boracay will implement protocols to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus when it reopens next month, including a rule for beachgoers to wear anti-virus masks, an official said Thursday. 

The resort island will have 9 swimming areas where authorities are tasked with monitoring the wearing of masks and physical distancing, running thermal scans, and getting the personal information of tourists for contact-tracing, said Acting Malay, Aklan Mayor Frolibar Bautista. 

"Sa labas, sa beach area, you have to wear a face mask. Kung maligo, puwede naman, kuhanin iyon. Pero as long as you’re in a public area, dapat may face mask talaga," he told ANC. 

"Three-piece na, hindi na 2-piece [ang swimsuit]."

(At the beach area, you have to wear a face mask. You can remove it when you swim. But as long as you're in a public area, you should really use a mask. Swimsuits will now be a 3-piece set, instead of 2-piece.) 

Eating and drinking are banned 30 meters from the shoreline, he said.

Masseurs, tattoo artists and tour guides are prohibited from offering their services, which require close contact with tourists, he said. 

Bautista said he was also hesitant to allow beachside parties. 

"Ang physical distancing, ‘pag sa wedding, mahirap i-separate iyan so siguro sa ngayon, huwag muna iyong mga parang party," he said. 

(It's hard to observe physical distancing in weddings, so parties might have to be banned for now.)

Resorts, establishments and operators of activities like diving and island-hopping are required to operate at half of their capacity, he said. 

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo–Puyat earlier said those who want to visit Boracay need a negative PCR coronavirus test result 48 to 72 hours before their trip. They also need to register online with any of some 200 resorts and establishments that the tourism department has certified. 

The PCR test requirements exempts tourists from elsewhere in the Western Visayas region, said Bautista. 

ANC, Sept. 24, 2020