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Gov’t drops required isolation area within aircraft for domestic flights

AIRLINES will no longer be required to have an isolation area inside aircrafts for domestic flights, the government’s task force against coronavirus said on Friday.

The latest resolution, signed Nov. 14, removed an earlier requirement for carriers to allot a portion for passengers who are suspected to be infected or sick due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, in a statement on Friday, said the “decision is based on the grounds that guidelines were issued based on available information at the time, and that more information is now available on how COVID-19 is transmitted in closed settings.

The latest resolution also directs local government units to relax entry protocols for airline crew such as test-upon-arrival requirements during layovers or positionings “due to emergency situations which include typhoons, volcanic activities, diversions and emergency landings, and other similar unforeseen and time-sensitive evacuations.”

Foreign nationals entering the Philippines for business purposes are now permitted to enter the country based on certain types of visas.

“Foreign nationals with visas issued by the Bureau of Immigration pursuant to Section 9(d) of Commonwealth Act No. 613, as amended; and those with visas issued by the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority and Clark Development Corporation may be allowed entry into the Philippines beginning November 1, 2020,” Mr. Roque said. — Gillian M. Cortez

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