Italy lifts national travel ban as pandemic slows down
UNTV News • June 4, 2020 • 626
ITALY – People in Italy will be allowed to move freely within the country from Wednesday (June 3) as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic slows down.
From Wednesday, passengers don’t have to provide the “self-declaration” form anymore in which they are required to explain their trans-regional travel purposes in the country.
The travel restrictions are also eased for travelers from other European Union (EU) countries and Britain to enter the country without the 14-day quarantine.
On Wednesday, passenger flows increased apparently in Italy’s major railway stations, airports and ferry terminals, and highway traffic also saw a dramatic rise.
“I’ve been waiting for the reopening of region borders on June 3. I want to see my wife. We’ve not seen each other for three months,” said Giorgio, an Italian traveler.
In order to cope with the increase of passenger flows, the Italian State Railways has launched 80 long-distance high-speed trains and 38 inter-city regular trains nationwide, and requires travelers to take temperature tests before boarding.
“We have used trains with more seats, but people need to keep a safe distance on the trains. Through the striking reminders on the seats, passengers can tell which seats can be taken and which can not,” said Marco Mancini, spokesman for the Italian State Railways.
According to the current regulations of the Italian government, people must wear masks in closed public places or when they cannot maintain a safe distance.
In some Italian regions, people are also required to wear masks in open spaces. Meanwhile, people must take temperature tests in public places. (REUTERS)
MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reiterated that vaccination will not be mandatory once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available in the country.
FDA Director General Eric Domingo said the national government will prioritize the poor in the immunization campaign. The government aims to vaccinate 60 million to 70 million Filipinos in order to reach herd immunity against the virus.
Domingo also reminded the public that minimum health standards should still be practiced even after the availability of a vaccine. He also said that the agency, along with the Department of Health (DOH), is already planning the process for the COVID-19 immunization program. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines — Local airlines are preparing to add more flights as more passengers are expected to travel this holiday season just as quarantine restrictions ease.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the easing of quarantine restrictions can help the airline industry recover from the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The good news is the Balikbayan Program. This is the easing of travel requirements for balikbayans to entice them to return to the Philippines,” she said.
Villaluna said they are also coordinating with local government units to make sure the minimum health standards are still being implemented.
Local airlines have already partnered with private laboratories for more affordable and faster swab testing of passengers. For PAL and Air Asia, the RT-PCR testing in their accredited diagnostic lab costs P4,000.
Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific launched a “test before boarding” policy which requires passengers to undergo an antigen testing before boarding. The testing in Cebu Pacific is free from December 3 to December 14 but it is only exclusive to passengers en route to General Santos City.
“This is an initiative where we are closely working with the LGU in coming up with this process wherein passengers are required to take an antigen test no more than five hours before their departure time and then the results will come out in 30 minutes,” according to Candice Iyog, vice president for Marketing and Customer Experience of Cebu Pacific.
Local airlines advise passengers to refer to their respective websites for the essential requirements before boarding their flights. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to participate in the 31st Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from December 3 to 4, Malacañang said Thursday.
The Palace said Duterte is expected to deliver the Philippine Statement on December 3, where he will further amplify his call for global solidarity in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19.
The president is also expected to raise universal access to the anti-COVID-19 technologies, as well as the need for global efforts to ensure the availability of safe and effective vaccines to peoples of developing nations.
During the 75th UNGA session last September, Duterte also said that COVID-19 vaccines “must not be denied nor withheld,” and that “it should be made available to all, rich and poor nations alike, as a matter of policy.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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