MANILA- Jeepneys still cannot operate in general community quarantine areas, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Thursday, a day before parts of the country shift to a "new normal" as the Luzon-wide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
Jeepneys cannot be used to transport commuters because it poses a risk to spreading the new coronavirus disease, Año said.
"Yung jeepney ay hindi pa 'yan pinapayagan sapagkat makikita niyo 'yung configuration ng jeepney magkakaharap 'yung tao diyan, 'pag lumabas 'yung isang pasahero diyan mabubugahan niya lahat ng dadaanan niya," he said in a virtual press briefing.
(We cannot allow the jeepney to operate because based on its configuration, people there are facing each other. If one passenger [who is a carrier of the disease] gets off, he can infect everyone that he will pass by.)
Other vehicles such as taxi cabs will be allowed to operate subject to guidelines of the Department of Transportation.
For buses, operators should only ferry around half of its full capacity to ensure physical distancing, Año said.
Operators of all public and mass transport vehicles that will be allowed to operate in general community quarantine areas must ensure that passengers observe a strict 1-meter distancing.
Passengers should also wear face masks and sanitize their hands before boarding the vehicle. Operators should also subject passengers to thermal scanning, Año said.