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‘No vax, no fly’ for domestic flights

Rudy Santos - The Philippine Star
âNo vax, no flyâ for domestic flights
Passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport's Terminal 2 wait at the Departure Area after several domestic flights were canceled on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.
The STAR / Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — Starting tomorrow, only domestic travelers vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to board local carriers bound for or departing Metro Manila.

The “No vaccination, No Fly” directive, contained in Department of Transportation (DOTr) Order-2022-001, is valid as long as Metro Manila remains under Alert Level 3 or higher. The directive applies to Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific and AirAsia.

Travelers are considered fully vaccinated if at least two weeks have elapsed after their second dose of a two-dose COVID vaccine, or single-dose COVID vaccine.

To be allowed to board the aircraft, they should present physical or digital copies of vaccine card issued by local government units or a vaccine certification issued by the Department of Health, valid government ID or any document prescribed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Exempted from the rule are individuals with medical condition that vaccination could compromise, as well as those traveling to procure essential goods like medicine, medical devices, medical and dental necessities.

They would be required, however, to present pertinent documents including medical certificates indicating physicians’ numbers, for those with medical conditions. To be required of those doing errands for essential goods is a duly issued barangay health pass or other appropriate proof to justify such travel.

Travelers exempted from the DOTr directive would also be required to present negative RT-PCR test result taken within the last 48 hours before entry in the departure terminal, based on rules set by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

PAL and Cebu Pacific said they would not accept unvaccinated children for boarding on domestic flights to and from Manila for the meantime, unless the trip is for urgent medical reasons.

Passengers who wish to voluntarily postpone their travel plans may have them canceled up to two hours before the scheduled time of departure and select their next option through the carriers’ Manage Booking portal.

On Friday, Malacañang announced the IATF’s lifting of travel restrictions on Filipinos coming from “red list” countries and territories, deemed high risk for COVID-19. The easing of restriction is effective until Jan.31, or depending on the alert level to be prescribed by the pandemic task force for the next two weeks.

Under a previous resolution, the IATF only allowed entry of Filipino citizens from red list countries and territories if they are arriving via government and non-government-initiated repatriation and bayanihan flights.

“Only Filipinos, balikbayan and those with long-term visas are allowed to enter the country. Those holding tourist visas are still not permitted to enter,” Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said yesterday. – Robertzon Ramirez

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