Rizal Park opens ‘for exercise only’

Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - July 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines  — Visitors are prohibited from holding hands while walking in Rizal Park, which was partially opened to the public on Wednesday “for exercise only,” according to the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC).

Cecille Romero, NPDC executive director, said that health standards – including social distancing and wearing of face masks – will be implemented in the park, which was closed when Metro Manila was put under quarantine in mid-March.

“There will be no holding hands while walking.  We still want to promote physical distancing… if you adhere to exercise, you cannot be holding hands all throughout,” she said in an interview.

The NPDC said on its official Facebook page that only the park’s promenade will be open from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The NPDC said it can refuse entry to visitors who refuse to comply with safety measures such as body temperature checks, following one-way signs, avoiding the gathering of more than 10 persons in one spot and declaring their health status before entering the park.

“Keep our park clean. Dispose garbage in the proper garbage bins. No spitting,” the NPDC said on Facebook, adding that violators will be penalized.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Rizal Park is not yet open for leisure activities while the metropolis is still under general community quarantine.

Facebook user Bren Ureta Roxas said Rizal Park should be open the whole day while Twitter user Rayghie (@OuSama_Gian07) said while he was excited about the park’s reopening, it was hard for him to breathe while jogging with a face mask on.

“I’m feeling tired, but I need to do my daily exercise and running so I am going to Luneta Park, by the way, it’s hard to breathe with a mask while I am running,” Rayghie said.

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