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Time To Get Closer: Physical Distancing Reduced For Commuters

Physical distancing among commuters will be reduced starting September 14.
by Ma. Roselle Miranda
Sep 13, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano
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You can get closer to your fellow commuters starting Monday, September 14.

In a Department of Transportation (DoTr) press release of a virtual press conference held last September 12, the physical distance among commuters will be reduced to 0.75 meter or 2.5 feet from 1 meter or 3.25 feet starting Monday, September 14.

This is still in conjunction with the existing guidelines that the DoTr has been implementing: the No Face Mask, No Face Shield, No Entry” and the “No Talking and No Answering Calls” policies.  

This reduction of the physical distancing restrictions was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). Public utility vehicles (PUVs), the light rail transit (LRT), and other public transportation vehicles are expected to accommodate more passengers with this new guideline and will be implemented gradually in the transport hubs as well. This increase of passengers is seen as a way to help open and recover the economy. 

“Tayo na lang po ang natitira [na bansa] na nag-eenforce nitong 1-meter social distancing, especially po sa loob ng mga tren, (The Philippines is the remaining country enforcing the 1-meter social distancing rule, especially inside trains)" said DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan.   

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It was also discussed that there will be a further reduction of the physical distance among commuters later this month to 0.5 meter (1.6 feet). This distance will be reduced even further to as close as 0.3 meters (less than 1 foot) by October 12.  

The physical distancing of 1 meter was implemented during the quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus 2019 or COVID-19.