Children aged 12 and below will no longer be allowed in Manila Bay’s Dolomite beach starting Tuesday, Oct. 26, as a health measure against COVID-19.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) made the announcement Monday night amid calls from various national government agencies and other concerned bodies about the possibility that the crowding of people in the area might be a superspreader for the virus.
“The DENR is overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and interest of the public to visit the recently-opened Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach as shown by the big number of people in the beach area since it opened on October 16,” the agency said in a statement.
“However, we would like to strongly remind everyone that the National Capital Region is under Alert Level No. 3, we are still in a pandemic, and the virus is still present,” it added.
DENR also said that the Dolomite beach will also be closed to the public from Oct. 29 to Nov. 3 in observance of the All Souls’ Day and the All Saints’ Day.
“We appreciate the comments of His Eminence Archbishop Socrates Villegas on the matter and we commit to continuously abide by the guidelines of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases),” DENR said.
”Be assured that the DENR together with concerned government agencies are working together to further improve the rules and regulations in the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach to make your visit safe and enjoyable,” it added.
For the past two consecutive weeks since it reopened to the public, the Dolomite beach had been flocked by tens of thousands of people, including children, defying the prohibition on minors to go out.
Under Metro Manila’s current alert level guidelines, minors or those 18 years old below are not allowed to go outside, except for essential purposes and outdoor exercises.