Pasay City, May 6, 2020 – Preparations are underway at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as the Manila International Airport Authority adopts the guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the “new normal” in all international and domestic airports in the country. These guidelines aim to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines. They are foreseen to be the new way of life for both passengers and airport staff once travel restrictions are lifted and NAIA resumes operations.
The guidelines include:
1. Wearing of face mask when entering the airport facility.
The MIAA has purchased a total of 2,675 boxes (133,750 pieces) of surgical face masks and has initiated purchase of 4500 pieces of washable masks to ensure continuous protection of its workers. “We have to stock-up and be prudent in our distribution especially that wearing of masks will now become the new normal,” said GM Monreal.
The MIAA sought the assistance of the Bureau of Quarantine in determining what type of PPE is appropriate for its employees given their different work stations. “We want to make sure that they have the right kind of protection as the nature of their jobs would require,” GM Monreal explained.
MIAA service providers were also told to provide face masks for their employees and to ensure that they get the kind of protection needed for the kind of work that they do following the recommendation of the Bureau of Quarantine.
2. Everyone entering the airport complex must submit themselves to mandatory body temperature check.
Already in place, the MIAA shall continue temperature checks at all security checkpoints inside the airport building and vehicle checkpoints within the immediate vicinity of the four (4) NAIA Terminals. Security personnel manning these posts are equipped with 81 infrared thermometer guns.
3. Social distancing measures shall be strictly observed at all queuing points inside and outside the terminal building. When seating, a “one seat apart policy” shall be enforced.
To further enhance social distancing measures inside the airport, GM Ed Monreal has directed for the installation of acrylic barriers in all check-in counters and help desks in the four NAIA Terminals. As of press time, 57 check-in counters now have acrylic barriers in Terminal 1. Work is still in progress. MIAA is working double time to complete installation in all the 330 check-in counters in the four Terminals.
Yellow floor markings have also been ordered by GM Monreal in all queuing points. “I call on the airlines most especially, to help us in the implementation by instructing their check-in personnel to monitor passenger compliance to the guideline,” the airport chief said.
4. With the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) taking the lead, security procedures shall be done through a “no contact means” but not limited to the use of walk through x-ray machines, portable scanners, handheld metal detectors, and the like, effectively limiting pat down or manual frisking to exceptional instances or situations.
5. Only passengers with valid travel documents and confirmed bookings for the day will be allowed to enter the airport facility.
Relatedly, the MIAA policy limiting the entry of non-airport workers and non-passengers into NAIA shall remain in effect.
6. Continuous disinfection of all NAIA facilities especially those used for flight operations. These include, among others, aerobridges, baggage conveyors, check-in counters, immigration, customs and other help desks. Disinfection activities are also done extensively on other airport facilities and equipment such as x-ray machines and trays, inspection tables, pushcarts, wheelchairs and other frequently touched surfaces.
All comfort rooms in the Terminal buildings as well as public areas are continuously cleaned on a 24-hour basis with each comfort room having a steady supply of hand wash, hand sanitizers, toilet paper and paper towels. MIAA’s utilization of hand sanitizers has remarkably increased over the last 3 months. From 5 gallons a day before COVID, actual use to date is 13 gallons a day.
To better serve passengers, MIAA has set standard features for all its comfort rooms where one will find specific cubicles for Persons with Disability (PWD) and diaper changing tables for passengers travelling with babies or toddlers. Hand dryers are also provided. An all gender toilet is also co-located in all restroom areas.
7. Foot baths shall remain in all entry and exit points of passengers and airport personnel, including boarding bridges and/or similar areas for passenger embarkation/disembarkation to and from the aircraft.
8. Safety precaution posters and other health guidelines shall be displayed at noticeable places in the NAIA Terminals. Alert bulletins shall be made through the airport information boards and other display systems and through public announcements in MIAA’s official social media sites.
9. As required by the Bureau of Quarantine, all passengers that are departing and arriving shall be required to electronically fill-out Health Declaration Form and Passenger Locator Forms for straightforward contact tracing.
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Most countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and many are experiencing outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.
Protecting yourself and others from the spread COVID-19
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
Advice on the safe use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers
To protect yourself and others against COVID-19, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water. If you use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, make sure you use and store it carefully.
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