MIAA asks passengers’ family, friends to say farewells at home
In support of government efforts to contain and prevent the possible spread of the virus in the country, the management of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) on Friday called on the public to refrain from coming in groups to meet or send off their friends and relatives in the terminals.
“If your family or friends are trying to catch a plane, say your farewells at home instead,” the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said, as travel authorities try to contain and prevent an outbreak of the new coronavirus, especially in high-transit, crowded places like airport terminals.The
MIAA said groups of people flocking to the airport for sendoffs or meetings result in large crowds which, according to health experts, should be avoided to stop the spread of the virus.
MIAA general manager Ed Monreal also appealed to families and friends of airline passengers not to bring highly vulnerable people to the airport, especially children, elderly, immunocompromised individuals and those with underlying medical conditions to protect them from possible exposure.
“This call is being made not to alarm the public. This is our simple way of supporting interagency efforts to prevent and contain the spread of the virus,” he said in a statement.
For their own safety
“Let us say our goodbyes at home and not go to the airport in groups when meeting a passenger. It is very hard to fight tradition, but in times like this, everyone should look out for their own safety,” he added.
The MIAA also gave a similar warning to arriving artists and performers’ fans who flock to the airport hoping to personally greet or get a glimpse of their idols.
The K-pop band Seventeen arrived from Incheon, South Korea, at around 8 a.m. at Terminal 1. They were all wearing face masks and were greeted by several fans who are passengers and workers already inside the airport.
Monreal said he would be exercising his prerogative in granting access to the four Naia terminals by limiting the issuance of visitors passes for the purpose of sending off or meeting passengers.
Exceptions will be given to cases when a companion may be necessary such as medical patients or other related emergency cases, person with disability, unaccompanied elderly, unaccompanied minor and unaccompanied pregnant woman.
Government repatriation efforts and activities in fulfillment of government international commitments would also not be subject to restrictions. Monreal said issuance of passes to VIP rooms will also be limited to airport reception of official guests of the government and of foreign embassies.
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