PAL to require passengers to wear face shields, masks

PAL Area Manager in Los Angeles Michelle Narvaez and San Francisco Area Manager Dell Merano show that passengers must wear a face shield in addition to a face mask | Contributed photos

All passengers traveling on Philippine Airlines will be required to wear face shields, on top of the mandatory face masks, starting August 15.

The new measure is in compliance with the latest guidelines that the Philippine Department of Transportation set for the public transport sector.

“Passengers are required to wear masks and face shields during all phases of the flight,” the airline said in a recent advisory.

As “safety remains the cornerstone of PAL’s operations,” the airline said the latest directive is in line with the existing measures, which include the cabin crew in full personal protective equipment during the flight.

“The new directive on face shields complements our existing multi-layered safety measures such as the use by our cabin crew of full PPE or Personal Protective Equipment in flight, the availability of hand sanitizers on-ground and inflight, thermal scanning of all passengers, special inflight service, installation of protective barriers at airport and ticket office counters, intensive disinfection of aircraft surfaces using high-grade eco-friendly cleaning agents, high-tech cabin air flow systems to refresh cabin air, and use of HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters to cleanse cabin air of impurities, bacteria and viruses, with 99.99 percent efficacy,” it added.

Cebu Pacific has also required its passengers to wear face shields “during the entire flight” starting Aug. 15.

“This is on top of the mandatory use of face masks upon entering the airport terminal until arrival at the destination,” it said.

Earlier, the DOTr issued a memorandum circular ordering all passengers to wear face shields when using public transportation.

This applies to all public transportation in the aviation and airports, railways, road and maritime sectors.

“Let us remember that no amount of protection is too much when it comes to health and safety, especially that we are battling an invisible enemy,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on August 2 placed Metro Manila under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) again as novel coronavirus cases in the country exceed 100,000.

The quarantine classification will take effect on August 4 and will be in place until August 18.

Duterte approved the Cabinet’s recommendation to return to a more stringent lockdown in response to the medical community’s plea for a time-out.

Aside from Metro Manila, the provinces of Laguna, Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan were also placed under MECQ.

Under this quarantine status, strict home quarantine will be observed in all households. There will be no public transport, domestic flights, and mass gatherings. There will also be limited transporting services for essential goods and services.

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