Intramuros in Manila has reopened, showing that in 2021, revisiting the past has a place in the world that is being remade by the pandemic.
That is, as long as minimum public health standards are observed.
As COVID-19 restrictions eased across the country to stir more economic activity, the historic walled city on Feb. 17 opened doors of its three famous spots—Fort Santiago, Casa Manila Museum, and Baluarte de San Diego.
Only those aged 15 to 65 can visit and authorities require the strict wearing of face masks and face shields. Visitors are required to download the Stay Safe app.
"It sends a very strong signal that we can balance health and safety requirements with tourism," said Guiller Asido, head of Intramuros Administration.
Aside from their compliance to government-standards protocols, Intramuros also started shifting to contactless payments.
Asido said management is also mulling a "Family Day", where children and senior citizens outside their age requirements for visitors are allowed to visit.
"We're trying to send a signal as well that we can travel, as long as we observe proper health and safety protocols," he said.