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DOTr wants strict public transport protocols in GCQ areas

By: - Reporter / @ConsINQ
/ 08:15 PM April 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has proposed strict public transport measures to assure social distancing as well as sanitation of public utility vehicles (PUVs) and airport terminals in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

Transportation Undersecretary for Administrative Services Artemio Tuazon Jr. said Thursday they submitted guidelines to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to allow the gradual resumption of the public transport sector’s operation during GCQ.

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“For ECQ po, public transportation will remain suspended in accordance with the guidelines of the IATF. Only Transport for health workers and essential personnel are allowed,” Tuazon said in an online press briefing.

“In contrast sa (to) GCQ, there will be a gradual reopening of certain activities of the economy. This will necessitate gradual reopening of public transportation and capacity set by the DOTr and in accordance with the Department of Health,” he added.

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According to the DOTr official, the guidelines for the road and aviation sector during GCQ will be as follows:

  • Drivers, conductors, and commuters of PUVs are required to wear face masks
  • PUVs are encouraged to use automatic fare collection systems to limit contact between driver and commuter
  • If automatic fare collection cannot be followed, passengers are required to pay their fare to the driver immediately upon boarding the vehicle.
  • PUVs will be equipped with terminal scanners to check the symptoms of passengers and drivers
  • PUV drivers who have COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to work and must be brought to the nearest medical facility for a checkup
  • Drivers must disinfect their vehicles before and after trips
  • A non-permeable material or acetate must be installed inside the PUV to separate the driver from passengers
  • PUVs, including buses, modern jeepney, and shuttle services must only board around 50 percent of its capacity to ensure physical distancing in the vehicle
  • UV Express can only accommodate two passengers per row
  • For Taxis and Transportation Network Vehicle Service, a maximum of two passengers will be allowed
  • Use of bicycles will be encouraged to prevent the rise of coronavirus transmission
  • Back-riding for motorcycles will remain prohibited

As for airport terminals, Tuazon said temperature checking will be established for all of its employees and plane passengers.

Airport employees will also be required to wear personal protective equipment while all inside airports will be obliged to wear face masks, he added.

Tuazon stressed that only passengers with travel documents, tickets, and boarding passes will be allowed to enter airport terminals.

He also said that COVID-19 rapid testing centers will likewise be established in airports for isolation of positive patients and aid in contact tracing efforts.

Lastly, Tuazon said airport terminals must enforce strict social distancing during flights.

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