Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced last Wednesday (February 17) the formal reopening of the historic walled city of Intramuros in the new normal.
“Intramuros is ready and prepared for its reopening following the easing of quarantine restrictions and the minimum health and safety standards set for parks, plazas, open spaces, heritage sites and museums,” said Puyat who is also the Intramuros Administration (IA) Board of Administrators Chairperson.
Armed with health and safety protocols against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) consistent with Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF) guidelines, Intramuros will now welcome guests and tourists on a limited capacity.
Signage and informational materials are installed strategically at high traffic areas like Palacio del Gobernador, Fort Santiago, Museo de Intramuros, Plaza San Luis, Casa Manila, Baluarte de San Diego, Puerto Real Gardens, Presidents’ Gallery, Plaza Roma, and Plazuela de Sta. Isabel.
Circulation plans for all gated sites and museums including Fort Santiago, Puerta Real Gardens, ASEAN Gardens, Parian Gate, Plaza San Luiz Complex, and Baluarte De San Diego are plotted and will be strictly enforced to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and avoid congestion.
“COVID-19 drastically changed people’s relation with streets, public spaces, and public facilities. The pandemic illustrates the value for accessible open spaces abundant in Intramuros that allow movement within dense urban areas,” Puyat stressed.
The IA also plans for its gated open air managed sites such as the historical and cultural attractions, heritage and religious museums to be opened to tourists and the general public. Intramuros also looks forward to host essential activities and events including work meetings, workshops, trainings, seminars, congresses, conferences, conventions, board meetings, colloquia, conclaves, symposia, and consumer trade shows or product launches with strict abeyance with the minimum public health requirements, and in compliance with health and safety protocols.
The IA migrated its contact tracing application to staysafe.ph pursuant to the IATF Resolution No. 50. All gated and non-gated sites and destinations will mandatorily enforce usage with the No Registration, No Entry rule.
Private establishments within Intramuros are also required to utilize the staysafe.ph app.
The appropriate health and safety guidelines applicable are strictly enforced within the walls of Intramuros. To mitigate infection, the IA also procured all necessary equipment and supplies. Hands-free thermometers with automatic alcohol dispensers are stationed in strategic locations for public use. Fog atomization machines and disinfectant sprayers for all vehicles, commonly held surfaces, and used provision items are also in place.
Hygiene technicians and personnel who will conduct regular sanitation protocols are provided with personal protective equipment.
Other health and safety supplies are provided to employees and visitors for free.
The IA also created a pre-validation task force that inspected compliance of all establishments with the minimum health and safety protocols pursuant to IATF issuances and the respective guidelines of the DOT and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) prior to the DOT’s actual validation.
Featured photo of Intramuros taken from https://www.facebook.com/OfficialIntramurosAdministration/