Airlines request shorter quarantine period

Local airlines are calling on the government to relax some rules for vaccinated Filipinos who travel by air to help the industry recoup billions of pesos in lost revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses have asked for help from Presidential Entrepreneurship Advisor Joey Concepcion to voice their concerns and push for increased mobility among those vaccinated. “The aviation industry is on the verge of collapse. If we don’t help the airline industry now, we could face a huge problem on how to travel in the future, ”he said. “For these airlines to survive there has to be a sustainable number of passengers, especially for the tourism industry,” Concepcion said. He called on the government to implement a shorter quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers from North America to help the struggling aviation sector. “With the Christmas season fast approaching, it is now high time for the government to consider a shorter quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers from other countries, particularly North America,” he said. he said, saying it would make it easier for Filipinos to include a home visit in their travel plans. Concepcion and stakeholders in the airline industry met with Dr Edsel Salvana, one of the advisers to the Ministry of Health, to voice their concerns over the strict policies of national and local governments that discourage travelers from traveling. in various parts of the country and abroad. Philippine Airlines (PAL), which filed for bankruptcy in New York earlier this month, proposed a new protocol aimed at reducing risks and costs for passengers on international flights. According to the proposal, passengers will be tested 72 hours before departure and will be quarantined on arrival and take an RT-PCR test on the third day. If the result is negative, they can leave the quarantine facility on the fifth day and continue with the home quarantine. Based on the data presented, pre-departure testing reduces the positivity rate and risk. The proposal would also save passengers up to P 25,000 in addition to enjoying a more comfortable quarantine in the comfort of their own homes. Airlines have also called on the Interagency Working Group for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to consider placing North America on the list of “green” countries, as it is the largest market for North America. local airlines. PAL said it made $ 1 billion in the North American market before the pandemic. Cebu Pacific, through its vice president for freight Alex Reyes, also called on the IATF to issue guidelines allowing fully vaccinated Filipinos to travel to the country to help restart tourism and economic activity. “They only need to present a vaccination card or a DICT vaccination certificate as the only requirement,” Reyes said. AirAsia chief executive Ricky Isla has proposed the use of antigen testing if testing is still needed because it is more convenient and less expensive. The proposal is similar to the “Bubble of Bakuna” pushed by Concepcion. As part of the Bakuna bubble, COVID-19 guidelines are relaxed for fully vaccinated people to boost the economy and protect jobs for many Filipinos. Concepcion lobbied for a safer reopening of the economy, especially for those vaccinated. The hospitality industry, represented by the executive director of the Philippine Hotel Owners Association, Arthur Lopez, has called on the government to review the number of passengers allowed in as they can handle the influx of tourists once there. open tourism industry. The bus industry, for its part, has backed the call to allow intra / interprovincial travel for those vaccinated, saying this would help revive the sector which has been hit hard by the lockdowns. Keeping the airline industry healthy is also vital for the survival of hotels, travel agents and operators, and tourism-related businesses, mostly small and medium-sized businesses scattered throughout the island nation, a declared Concepcion.

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