Stunning images show empty Boracay under COVID-19 lockdown

Even paradise is on lockdown.

The orders for enhanced community quarantine in Luzon and in several parts of the Philippines have turned the country’s most visited beach into a virtual ghost town. It’s summer and even if the beach is ready to accept tourists, no one is allowed in.

Fritz Mendez, a bank teller assigned in Boracay, saw that the lockdown created a unique chance for him to take his iPhone and document the empty summer destination.

Sans tourists, Boracay remains stunning.

“Boracay is peaceful, COVID-free (Praise the Lord Almighty!),” Mendez told WhenInManila.com. “The current beach situation is under Red Flag [status], which means no swimming and no sunbathing [allowed] but you can sit on the shore and watch the sunset.”

“Still, social distancing is observed. We cannot roam around Boracay easily without a quarantine pass and a face mask,” he added.

“Business enterprises are not back to normal yet. Other restaurants are open but for take-out only,” he explained further. “There is no means of transportation here.”

“Financial institutions like banks are open, but until 1 PM only.”

“Markets have a schedule like 7 AM to 10 AM and 2 PM to 5 PM daily.”

Mendez also said that although there are foreigners on the island, most of them are already considered locals and have been living there for a long time according to hotel staff.

He also mentioned that ferry services are still smoothly running with schedules from 7 AM and 10 AM in the morning (Caticlan to Boracay, vice-versa), and 2 PM and 5 PM (vice-versa) but only for those who are frontliners and workers of the island.

Apparently, guests are not allowed to enter the island.

People on the island are obedient of the curfew hours. The streets are virtually empty and police are visible 24/7.

“I am a beach person. I go to the beach almost every day and before this pandemic, I even take a stroll after office hours until sunset. It relaxes me after a long day at work. Those pictures were a product of me taking my time strolling from the office to our apartment,” Mendez concluded.

Mendez said that the photos were taken on April 13, 2020.

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