REVIVING TOURISM. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat leads the reopening of three Intramuros site on Thursday (Sept, 16, 2021). NCR residents who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can use the Express Lane when visiting Baluarte de San Diego or Fort Santiago to speed up their entry. (PNA photo by Joseph Razon)

MANILA – Fully-vaccinated people aged 18 to 65 years old are entitled to a special express lane when they visit the three Intramuros sites that reopened on Thursday.

"Here in Intramuros puwede ang vaccinated at unvaccinated pero mayroong express lane para sa mga fully vaccinated. Noong una kaming nagbukas sa Intramuros ang haba haba ng pila pero at least 'yong mga fully vaccinated na gustong mag-enjoy dito sa Intramuros ngayon may courtesy express lane na sila (both vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists are allowed but there is an express lane for fully vaccinated visitors. When we first opened Intramuros, there were long queues but at least for the fully vaccinated who want to enjoy Intramuros, there is a courtesy lane for them now)," Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said on the sidelines of an inspection in Intramuros.

By using the special lane, fully-vaccinated visitors will only need to undergo the mandatory temperature check at the entrance gates and can complete the contact tracing form when already inside the sites.

All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are still expected to strictly follow minimum health standards at all times.

Romulo-Puyat led the reopening of Fort Santiago, Baluarte de San Diego, and Plaza San Luis on the first day of pilot of Covid-19 alert levels system in Metro Manila.

Under Alert Level 4, the National Capital Region's status, outdoor tourist sites like Intramuros and Rizal Park are permitted to resume operations at a limited capacity for visitors 18 to 65 years old.

Romulo-Puyat, however, is hoping that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will soon allow fully vaccinated senior citizens to visit the landmark even just at a specific time of the day.

"[P]ansin lang talaga namin gusto lang talagang makalabas ng mga tao so ngayon may age restriction pero hinihingi namin sa IATF na payagan for example 'yung 65 and above na fully vaccinated naman kahit na may timeslot sila like 6 to 8 in the morning para makapag-exercise (We just noticed that most people just want to go out. For now, there are age restrictions but we are requesting the IATF, for example, to allow 65 years old and above who are fully vaccinated. They can be given a time slot, like from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. for exercise purposes)," she said.

She also assured that 99 percent of tourism workers in Intramuros are fully vaccinated as an added assurance for visitors. (PNA)