DOT reopens Intramuros, Rizal Park to tourists

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has reopened Rizal Park and three sites in Intramuros, Manila to tourists under a limited capacity and shortened operating hours.

Starting September 16, Rizal Park will be open from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. for ages 18 to 65 years old who wish to exercise outdoors, but with a maximum capacity of only500 visitors at any given time.

Park-goers are advised to download the StaySafe app for faster entry into the premises, although manual contact tracing forms will still be available at entrances for those without access to mobile phones.

The age restriction also applies to the three Intramuros sites — Fort Santiago, Baluarte de San Diego and Plaza San Luis.

Fort Santiago will be open from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays with a maximum capacity of 150 visitors at any given time.

Baluarte de San Diego will be operating daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will accommodate a maximum of 80 people at a time.

Entrance fee for both sites remains at P75 for regular visitors, and P50 for discounted eligible visitors such as seniors, students and PWDs.

Plaza San Luis, on the other hand, is free for those who want to visit from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the “reopening of Fort Santiago, Baluarte San Diego and Plaza San Luis will allow visitors to again experience 2020’s Asia and World’s leading tourist attraction as recognized by the World Travel Awards.”

Shem however, reminded and urged tourists and others concerned “to strictly adhere to the health and safety protocols to sustain the resumption of tourism in the country,”

As an assurance to visitors, the DOT said about 99% of the Intramuros Administration (IA) workers have been fully vaccinated, including outsourced security and janitorial workers. Over 96% of all personnel stationed at Rizal Park have received their complete Covid-19 jabs.

“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,” Romulo-Puyat said.

“By doing so, not only can you protect yourself, but you are also keeping the workers who rely on tourism safe from the virus,” she added.

To encourage more Metro Manila residents to get their Covid-19 vaccines, the IA will also set up an express lane for fully-vaccinated individuals who will visit Fort Santiago and Baluarte San Diego.

The fully-vaccinated visitors will be allowed to accomplish the mandatory contact tracing form when inside the sites and will only need to present it to security personnel before they exit.

Regardless of their vaccination status, however, all visitors will undergo mandatory temperature checks at the sites’ entrance and are required at all times to adhere to minimum health standards such as wearing of masks and face shields, proper physical distancing, and frequent washing or disinfection of hands.