How PAL will implement social distancing in flights


Posted at Jun 05 2020 10:29 AM | Updated as of Jun 05 2020 10:45 AM

Repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs arrive at an airport after being allowed to go home following weeks of quarantine amid the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Pasay City, May 26, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

MANILA — Philippine Airlines said Friday it would implement social distancing in flights after an expected rush in travelers due to the loosening of virus lockdowns in the capital and other urban centers. 

The flag carrier will identify areas in aircraft that will serve as "rows for social distancing" where passengers can be transferred if they experience cough or respiratory problems mid-flight, said PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna.

"Eventually, 'pag mag-ease up, mag-normalize na ang flow of passengers — iyong mga essential passengers nailipad na natin, mga OFWs, mga locally stranded individuals — we may be able to implement social distancing with regularity," she told TeleRadyo. 

(Eventually, when the flow of passengers eases up, normalizes — after we've flown essential passengers, overseas Filipino workers, locally stranded individuals — we may be able to implement social distancing with regularity.) 

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After the nearly 80-day lockdown of Metro Manila grounded airlines, PAL will restart 24 domestic routes and 21 international routes in June, she said. 

"Slow but sure, gradual and calibrated is our approach," she said. 

Locally stranded passengers should present their travel authority and medical certificate from local officials at flight check-in counters, said Villaluna. 

Repatriated migrant workers who were quarantined in Metro Manila will be brought to the airport by authorities and only need to present their health certificate, she said. 

Journalists, health workers, authorities and other people authorized to leave their residence should present their company or inter-agency task force ID, she said.