IATF allows limited international transit services in NAIA

Published August 13, 2021, 10:35 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the country’s main gateway, can allow transit flights but limited for the “green” countries after the government has agreed to slightly ease the travel curbs.

President Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on July 24, 2021. (Malacañang)

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has approved the request of airlines to resume international transit hub operations, according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

The decision on resuming transit services at the Manila airport was reached by the government task force during a meeting Thursday, August 12, despite the country’s rising coronavirus cases.

Roque, however, made clear that the resumption of the international transit operations in NAIA would be subject to health protocols and other conditions.

“These international transit hub operations shall be limited to airside transfers between Terminals 1 and 2, and within Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and further limited for countries/jurisdictions/territories in the Green List,” he said.

“As such, protocols for the controlled movement of passengers and health and safety protocols within the terminals shall be strictly observed,” he added.

Roque said any traveler who shows coronavirus symptoms must comply with isolation and quarantine protocols that shall be “for the account of the sponsoring airlines.”

He said the task force has also directed the Department of Foreign Affairs, Bureau of Quarantine, and Bureau of Immigration to formulate the necessary protocols for the issuance of appropriate visas applicable on a case-to-case basis.

Earlier, the government task force revised the list of “green” countries and territories or those with low risk of coronavirus infection, reducing the number to 36 from 51.

Vaccinated travelers from these green countries are allowed to undergo shorter quarantine period of seven days at a facility instead of the standard 10 days.

Among the green nations are Australia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Hungary, New Zealand, and Palau.