PH airlines to heed ‘no vaccination, no ride’ policy, too
MANILA, Philippines—Domestic airlines are also heeding planned restrictions on unvaccinated individuals, which would be enforced starting on Jan. 17.
Gilbert F. Santa Maria, Philippine Airlines (PAL) president and COO, said in a statement that PAL supported the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in its “no vaccination, no ride” policy laid out in department order No. 2022-001 covering all modes of public transit in Metro Manila.
“We laud the DOTr’s initiative to help the Filipino public embark on essential travels during the current crisis,” Santa Maria said.
“We assure the public that PAL will do its part to uphold the strictest safety standards and health protocols in our continuing operation of our domestic and international flight network,” he added.
In a separate statement, AirAsia Philippines said it will continue to carry fully vaccinated passengers. It said non-vaccinated flyers can also travel to and from Metro Manila for essential purposes.
It said “persons with medical conditions that prevent full COVID-19 vaccination will still be allowed to fly, provided that they present a duly signed medical certificate with name and contact details of their physician.”
Also covered were unvaccinated travelers who will “provide essential goods and services as evidenced by a duly issued barangay health pass or other appropriate proof that will justify travel will also be accepted during the flight.”
“AirAsia Philippines considers this initiative from the DOTr as an effective tool to encourage every Filipino to take the shot, and get an added layer of protection against any emerging COVID variant,” AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricardo Isla said in the statement.
Cebu Pacific said on Friday it will offer rebooking and travel fund options until Jan. 31 for passengers unable to travel because of the new government policy.
“Cebu Pacific continues to safeguard the safety of its passengers and crew. As such, Cebu Pacific will comply with the latest government order which aims to protect the majority,” said Candice Iyog, vice president for marketing and customer experience at Cebu Pacific, in a separate statement.
“We appeal for the understanding and patience of those affected by the mandate. Cebu Pacific is committed to getting you on your way as soon as the times become safer for most of us,” she added.
Apart from exempted individuals, the budget carrier said it will screen, validate and board “only passengers traveling into and out of the [National Capital Region] who are fully vaccinated.”
Cebu Pacific said a person is considered fully vaccinated after two weeks after second doses of two-dose vaccines like Moderna, Pfizer and Sinovac or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.
For children not eligible for vaccination, AirAsia Philippines spokesman Steve Dailisan clarified that the DOTr rules allow them to travel with their parents “provided that they present a medical certificate and should also be compliant with the requirements set by their [local government unit] of destination.”
The DOTr previously said the restrictions for unvaccinated people will be in effect while Metro Manila is on Alert Level 3 or higher.
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