Stricter testing protocol eyed for all Boracay hotel staff

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 25) — A local chief executive on Monday called for rigorous testing of hospitality workers in Boracay after 16 hotel staff of luxury resort Shangri-la Boracay Resort & Spa tested positive for COVID-19.

Malay acting mayor Frolibar Bautista said all hospitality workers in Boracay who are returning to work should undergo antigen tests upon arrival in the picturesque island, saying the spike in cases were due to workers coming into and out of Boracay. He said the request has been forwarded to the province and region's COVID-19 task force.

"Sa Boracay, we have no local transmission. Ang nangyari lang doon kasi sa isang establishment, 'yung uwian ng mga tao. Yung nag-day off kasi, pauwi-uwi sa mainland tapos babalik naman," he told CNN Philippines.

[Translation: We have no local transmission in Boracay. What happened to that establishment was that their workers are going home for their days off. They go home then return to the mainland.]

The official added that they have yet to implement the testing of returning local workers every four weeks.

Despite the spike in cases, Aklan is not enforcing a lockdown since the COVID-19 cases in the resort is an isolated case, Bautista said.

Shangri-la Boracay Resort & Spa will not be accepting new check-ins for seven days until Jan. 28 to conduct disinfection and deep cleansing of its resort. It said the 16 infected workers are asymptomatic and were all immediately isolated.

The island of Boracay has been open for tourists since October despite the raging COVID-19 pandemic.