Home>News>MIAA GM supports BoQ memo to screen visitors vs COVID-FLiRT, but says wearing of masks in NAIA remains ‘voluntary’

MIAA GM supports BoQ memo to screen visitors vs COVID-FLiRT, but says wearing of masks in NAIA remains ‘voluntary’

Eric Ines
MIAA General Manager Eric Ines supports BOQ memo for screening of visitors to avoid COVID FLiRT from entering the country. (JERRY S. TAN)

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Eric Jose Ines said the authority is supporting the Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ)- NAIA on its initiatives to prevent the spread of the FLiRT Covid variant in the country via strict screening of inbound passengers, but said that the wearing of face masks in the premier airport terminals remain as voluntary or optional only.

In light of the new COVID variant, Ines directed all terminal managers to make sure that the terminal housekeeping service providers under them will implement thorough disinfection of items and locations where passenger contact exposure is high.

These areas include the check-in counters, immigration counter tops and the plastic trays used for final screening of passenger luggage and items.

Food concessionaires were also reminded to disinfect their respective areas, particularly the tables where their customers eat.

“These measures will help prevent the spread of the virus,” said Ines.

He also highlighted the importance of public cooperation in these efforts, encouraging the practice of minimum safety measures to protect everybody’s health and well-being.

“We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of all passengers and the public. We urge everyone to follow the basic health protocols and guidelines set by health authorities such as frequent hand washing, covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, wearing a face mask if experiencing flu-like symptoms and seeking medical attention and testing if you feel unwell,” Ines stressed.

The airport chief however clarified that the wearing of face masks while inside the airport terminals is voluntary on the part of the airport users and not mandatory.

As of May 25, 2024, based on data from the DOH, the Philippines has reported 6,138 active COVID-19 cases, with a cumulative positivity rate of 13.4%. The National Capital Region (NCR) has the highest number of cases.

In a recent Memorandum, the Bureau of Quarantine issued a heightened alert surveillance through the conduct of thorough screening at all points of entry for arriving visitors.

In the same memorandum, the general public is encouraged to take basic health measures against possible infection. Completing the health questionnaire in the e-Travel registration also serves as a helpful source of information for quarantine officers.

The MIAA has no report of any COVID infection among its ranks to date, Ines said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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