Pregnant women, individuals below 20 and above 60, will not be allowed to ride the LRT, PNR, and MRT once the railways resume their operation under the GCQ or general community quarantine.
The said individuals belong to the highly vulnerable group that are at high-risk of acquiring new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), health officials said.
According to Assistant Transport Secretary Goddes Libiran, the Interagency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases included the ban on its guidelines for public transportation once the GCQ begins.
The guidelines state that senior citizens should remain at home at all times, “except when indispensable under the circumstances for obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices.”
The same rule applier for minors (in this case, those below 20 years old and not 18) and pregnant women, although the exceptions apply only to trains.
“Whatever the consideration of the IATF, that’s also what we are going to implement,” Libiran said.
Longer queue lines at MRT, LRT, PNR stations under GCQ
LRT Lines 1 and 2, MRT 3, and PNR passengers should also expect longer lines and waiting time as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will strictly impose physical distancing under GCQ.
As a result, if the one-meter-apart policy will be followed, each LRT 1 train can carry only 158 passengers (12 percent of its capacity) per trip; 160 (10 percent) for the LRT 2 and 153 (13 percent) for the MRT 3. All three trains usually transport over 1,000 passengers each trip.
A PNR train will only utilize 20 percent of its average capacity, which is now 148 passengers per trip.
Transport Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan explained the said measures are required “reduce passenger concentration in trains, station platforms, concourses, and elevators… We have to remember that this protocol aims to prevent the virus from spreading. We want to put an end to this health crisis, as we want to help our front-liners, our essential workers in going to their places of destination during the GCQ.”
No face mask, no entry
DOTr will also impose the no face mask, no entry policy set by the Department of Health in all train stations. Checking of body temperatures is also required. Those showing coronavirus symptoms or with registered body temperatures of 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher are not allowed to enter the premises.
All personnel is also required to wear face masks and gloves, while security guards in charge of inspecting passengers’ bags or stationed at the Commuter Welfare Desk will have to wear face shields.
Train stations should also conduct regular disinfection and sanitation of train interiors, station premises, and facilities. They should also put up hand washing or disinfectant stations.