Manila's artificial white sand beach hosted one of its biggest crowds ever over the weekend, amounting to "tens of thousands", authorities said Monday, prompting a review of crowd control procedures to avoid COVID-19 infections.
The Manila Bay Dolomite Beach will stay open, with marshalls enforcing social distancing and mask wearing, said Manila Bay coordinating office deputy executive director Jacob Meimban.
"Kami naman po ay binuksan lang namin 'yung Dolomite Beach para makatulong kami sa tao na magkaron sila ng isang open space para mapuntahan at para ma-appreciate nila kung ano ang ginawa namin para malinis itong lugar na ito," Meimban told TeleRadyo. He was asked if the beach would be closed to avoid superspreaders.
The crowd last Sunday was "overwhelming", Meimban said. Visitors old and young, some with pets, lined up to enter.
Authorities expanded the area accessible to the public to allow more people at the beach, he said. Visitors have more elbow room there compared to long queues outside, especially those waiting on the footbridge, Meimban said in a separate interview on CNN Philippines.
People are allowed inside regardless of their vaccination status, he said. "The only thing we can do inside and outside is impose the minimum health standards that is the face mask and social distancing."
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