Camp John Hay reopens leisure spots as Baguio restrictions slowly eased
BAGUIO CITY –– Camp John Hay is reopening its leisure spots to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays starting June 30, as the summer capital begins to ease quarantine restrictions.
But the recreational destination will serve only Baguio residents while the city remains under quarantine, according to an advisory from the city public information office.
Visitors will be required to wear face masks and stay a meter apart inside the former American rest and recreation camp.
Heeding a request from Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Camp John Hay will also open on Sundays, exclusively for the city’s elderly and children and teens, who are still required to stay indoors 24 hours each day.
In a June 26 announcement, Magalong said he has ordered the gradual easing of rules on public movement to help residents acclimatize to the “new normal” and revive the economy.
Baguio residents have adapted to the quarantine which had taken over their lives for the past 103 days, so they could become “accustomed to new social norms centered on health and disease prevention,” Magalong said.
A shorter curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. would allow businesses and food establishments to extend their operating hours, said Magalong.
A three-day-per-week schedule for purchasing items or meals at shopping malls and the public market will be enforced on June 29, and the market will now be open on Sundays beginning on July 5, the mayor said in a notice.
Shortly after Baguio underwent quarantine to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in March, designated members of each family were given two days each week to leave their homes and replenish food stock and medicine.
This continued to be the policy in June when Baguio transitioned to a modified general community quarantine that allowed more businesses to open.
No one was allowed to leave their homes during Sundays, partly to relieve policemen and village leaders who are tasked each day to monitor and secure the streets as more people went out to work.
That restriction will now be lifted.
The transition to a “new normal” is not an invitation for people to go out anytime, Magalong said, stressing that quarantine restrictions apply to people younger than 21 years old or 60 years old or older. Those who are pregnant or who have serious ailments are also required to stay indoors, he said.
The mayor said he does not see an end to the pandemic in the next few months, so residents must continue to wear face masks in public, maintain a physical distance from each other at work or out in the streets, “make a habit of sanitizing and hand washing, and to go out only when necessary.” VINCENT CABREZA
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