Team Out of Town Blog Hub (www.outoftownblog.com) – Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat on Wednesday (September 15) announced the reopening of Rizal Park and three sites in Intramuros namely Fort Santiago, Baluarte de San Diego, and Plaza San Luis under limited capacity and shortened operating hours.
Starting on September 16 (Thursday), Rizal Park will be open from 5:00AM to 9:00AM with a maximum capacity of 500 visitors at any given time. Park-goers are advised to download the StaySafe app for faster entry into the park premises, although manual contact tracing forms will still be available at entrances for those without access to mobile phones.
Likewise, Fort Santiago will be open from 9:00AM to 7:30PM from Monday to Friday, and from 9:00AM to 8:30PM on Saturdays and Sundays with a maximum capacity of 150 visitors at any given time.
Meanwhile, Baluarte de San Diego will be operating daily from 8:00AM to 5:00PM and will accommodate a maximum of 80 people at a time. The entrance fee for both sides remains at 75 pesos for regular visitors, and 50 pesos for discounted eligible visitors such as seniors, students, and PWDs. On the other hand, Plaza San Luis is free for those who want to visit but only from 8:00AM TO 9:00PM daily.
Only those within the age of eighteen (18) to below sixty-five (65) shall be allowed in both Rizal Park and the Intramuros sites.
“The reopening of Fort Santiago, Baluarte San Diego, and Plaza San Luis will allow visitors to gain experience 2020’S Asia and World’s leading tourist attraction as recognized by the World Travel Awards. But we continuously urge our tourists to strictly adhere to the health and safety protocols to sustain the resumption of tourism in the country,” the tourism chief said.
To encourage more NCR residents to get their COVID-19 jabs, the DOT through the Intramuros Administration (IA) will set up an express lane for fully vaccinated individuals who wish to visit Fort Santiago and Baluarte San Diego. By using the express lane, fully vaccinated visitors are allowed to accomplish the mandatory contact tracing form when inside the sites and will only need to present it to security personnel before exit. The DOT has also been promoting the use of its tourist sites to speed up the government’s vaccination efforts, partnering with the City of Manila to establish a Drive-Thru Vaccination facility at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park.
Meanwhile, regardless of vaccination status, all visitors shall undergo mandatory temperature checks at the sites’ entrance and are required at all times to adhere to the minimum health standards such as wearing masks and face shields, proper physical distancing, and frequent washing or disinfection of hands.
As an added assurance to visitors, the DOT also prioritized the vaccination of its workers. “As of September 14, 99 percent of the workers in Intramuros Administration—including outsourced security and janitorial workers—have also been fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, over 96 percent of all personnel stationed at Rizal Park have already received their complete COVID-19 vaccination,” Puyat shared.
“Time and again, we are reminding everyone to strictly follow the health and safety protocols when visiting Rizal Park, Intramuros, and other tourist sites and destinations that have reopened, and get vaccinated when the opportunity comes. By doing so, not only can you protect yourself, but you are also keeping the workers who rely on tourism safe from the virus, too,” the tourism chief said.
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