1-meter distancing to be enforced in public transport pending Duterte decision

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 17 2020 12:00 PM | Updated as of Sep 17 2020 12:19 PM

Commuters wear face shields as they take the MRT-3 on August 19, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News​

MANILA (UPDATE)— A one-meter distance between passengers must be observed in public transport until President Rodrigo Duterte decides on the matter, Malacañang said Thursday.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade issued the directive during a meeting of the government's COVID-19 pandemic response task force, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a tweet.

"Balik 1-meter distancing po muna tayo sa pampublikong transportasyon habang wala pa pong desisyon ang Presidente kung pupuwede itong maibaba sa 0.75 meters," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

(We will revert to 1-meter distancing in public transportation while the President has yet to decide if this can be reduced to 0.75 meters.)

The government earlier this week implemented a reduced physical distancing policy of 0.75 meters from 1 meter, citing supposed public clamor to ease distancing measures in public transport.

Roque on Wednesday said the President would decide on the physical distancing policy for public transport passengers after members of the government's pandemic response task force failed to reach a consensus.

Duterte is expected to announce his decision on the issue on Monday, Roque said.

Physical distancing and the use of face masks and shields are being enforced in public transport to prevent further spread of COVID-19 while movement restrictions have been eased as the pandemic continues.