ICYMI: INTRAMUROS HAS REOPENED 3 OF ITS HISTORIC SITES TO THE PUBLIC–HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO AND HOW TO DO IT SAFELY
Finally, more open spaces to enjoy socially-distant activities in!
The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced the reopening of the the historic walled city of Intramuros on Wednesday, February 17, following the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ clearance for more parks and industries to open under General Community Quarantine (GCQ). This means that residents around the Metro can go and enjoy the wide greenery and iconic landmarks within Intramuros in the New Normal, with added safety precautions to avoid the further spread of COVID-19.
“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 Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, who is also the Intramuros Administration (IA) Board of Administrators chairperson.
Among the walled city’s many tourist attractions and public spaces, only three landmarks have been reopened in an effort to still contain the number of people going in and out of the area, namely Fort Santiago, Baluarte San Diego, and Casa Manila Museum. Enclosed establishments that provide little space for social distancing like The Dungeons, Museo ni Rizal, Asean Gardens and other sites are still closed until “further notice.”
All tourists who wish to visit Intramuros are required to have their own QR code from StaySafe.PH, the nation’s official contact tracing app, which will be presented in the entry points of each establishment. As of writing, only 15-65 year olds are permitted to enter the sites.
#MissKaNaNgFun ng Intramuros!
We are pleased to announce that we are finally reopening three of our sites starting tomorrow.
— Intramuros PHL (@Intramuros) February 16, 2021
Moreover, the DOT and Intramuros Administration have worked hand-in-hand to ensure tourists get a safe experience while exploring the famed city, with alcohol stands, contactless temperature checks, and signages all around its most visited streets and sites. Private establishments that have been allowed to reopen are also required to utilize the StaySafe.PH app, while following health and safety guidelines.
This reopening of one of the country’s biggest cultural landmarks, as well as one of the few open spaces within Metro Manila, is an exciting win for us all as we grapple within the confines of our unchanging, pandemic-induced, reality.
Having the liberty to visit Fort Santiago, Baluarte San Diego, and Casa Manila Museum, as well as Intramuros’ culture-filled streets, just bring us back to pre-COVID normalcy when we could freely ride a bike around the area while soaking in Philippine history. Thankfully, we could somewhat do that again despite everything going on, but just with the added New Normal safety precautions.
As Tourism Secretary Puyat put it, “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.”
We wholeheartedly agree. If there’s anything we can take away from this whole pandemic, it’s that green and open spaces are invaluable to our society’s sanity and general welfare. Hopefully the successful reopening of Intramuros could be the sign urban developers need to finally invest in building more spaces for the community.