The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will strictly enforce health protocols onboard trains as well as in the various rail facilities such as stations and depots.
This, after the National Capital Region (NCR) was placed under stricter Alert Level 3 status amid the rise in Covid-19 cases.
DOTr Secretary Art Tugade said the enforcement of strict health measures to mitigate the spread of the virus will continue to be in place, even more as the present 70 percent passenger capacity in all rail lines will be maintained.
“As recommended by our railways sector, all rail lines will maintain the present 70 percent passenger capacity under the Alert Level 3 status, provided that strict health measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 will be enforced. This is to avoid the ‘bottlenecking’ or crowding of passengers at stations, which may increase the risk of virus transmission,” Tugade said in a news release on Sunday.
Tugade said any adjustments or changes in the passenger capacity of rail lines, as well as in other modes of public transportation, will be subject to the guidance of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
DOTr Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan said the random antigen testing will help the DOTr gauge the level of Covid-19 presence in the rail lines.
“The random antigen testing of consenting and volunteering passengers is intended to guide us in the adoption of any further needed measures. Passengers who volunteer to be tested will be permitted to proceed with their trip after testing, and will be informed of their test results by text message,” Batan said.
Aside from the random antigen testing of passengers, the use of train marshals will be optimized to enforce health protocols inside trains and in stations.
Tugade also ordered the regular disinfection of trains, platforms, stations and depots, saying contact tracing measures should be continued.