The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced Rizal Park and three sites in Intramuros will reopen tomorrow, Sept. 16, under limited capacity and shortened operation hours.
In an interview with ANC’s Headstart on Sept. 15, Wednesday, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said outdoor tourist attractions are already allowed to open once the pilot run of the new COVID-19 alert systems and granular lockdowns are implemented. According to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), Metro Manila will be under general community quarantine (GCQ) with Alert Level 4 starting Sept. 16.
In a statement on Sept. 15, the DOT said Rizal Park will be open from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. with a maximum capacity of 500 visitors at any given time.
Before entering the park premises, individuals are required to use the StaySafe app or manual forms for contact tracing purposes.
For Intramuros, its banner outdoor sites—Fort Santiago, Plaza San Luis and Baluarte de San Diego—will also start to accept visitors on Sept. 16.
Fort Santiago will be open from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday to Friday; and 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. A maximum of 150 visitors are allowed at any given time.
Baluarte de San Diego will be open daily, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., while Plaza San Luis will also be open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The rest of the attractions in the Walled City—including Casa Manila, the Dungeons, Museo ni Rizal and Asean Gardens—are still closed until further notice.
Strict safety protocols will be in place for visitors to follow.
According to the Intramuros Administration safety guidelines, only ages 18 to 65 years old who do not have immunodeficiencies, comorbidities or other health risks are allowed to visit. Pregnant women are also not allowed in the sites.
Fully vaccinated individuals (at least two weeks after their second dose) are allowed to proceed to designated Express Lanes at Baluarte de San Diego and Fort Santiago upon presentation of their vaccination ID.
Fully vaccinated visitors may fill out their forms inside the sites, while those who are not are to accomplish the contact tracing forms before entering the parks.
Wearing a face mask and face shield is also mandatory. These may be removed during photo-ops but must be worn immediately afterward, according to the guidelines. Minimum health standards are also to be observed by guests.
In a statement, Puyat said that as of Sept. 14, 99% of workers in Intramuros have been fully vaccinated. This includes outsourced security and janitorial workers.
Meanwhile, over 96% of all personnel stationed at Rizal Park have also been fully vaccinated, Puyat said.
Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces have been under stricter community quarantine classifications for over a month following the spike in cases of COVID-19 with the highly infectious Delta variant now dominant in the country. Hospitals in Metro Manila have also reported operating under full or beyond capacity.
As of this writing the country has 16,989 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, which makes the total number of cases at 2,283,011.