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Philippines bans unvaccinated from using public transport

Individuals who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be allowed to take public transport in the Philippine capital, Manila, amid a surge in cases, the transportation department said Wednesday.

The “no vaccination, no ride/no entry” policy would be in effect in the capital region of Metro Manila, a sprawling metropolis of more than 13 million people.

“All concerned attached agencies and sectoral offices of (the Department of Transportation) are directed to ensure that operators of public transportation shall allow access or issue tickets only to fully vaccinated persons,” the department order stated.

It added that commuters need to present either physical or digital copies of their vaccination cards and government-issued identification cards.

The department explained that people with medical conditions that prevented their full vaccination were exempted but must present a medical certificate.

Unvaccinated individuals who need to buy essential goods or need to travel for essential services may be allowed to ride public transport.

It added that if they have health passes from their community officials or other proof to justify the travel.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered community leaders to keep unvaccinated individuals restrained to their homes, except for essential trips, and arrest them if they refuse to follow the authorities’ rules.

More than 53 million people, or over 48 per cent of the Philippines’ estimated total population of 110 million, have been vaccinated as of Tuesday, the department said.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Philippines’ total caseload topped three million on Tuesday when the Department of Health reported more than 28,000 additional COVID-19 cases.

The death toll was 52,511.

(dpa/NAN)

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