Public mass transportation suspended amid Luzon quarantine

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 17) — Four train lines plying Metro Manila and Luzon temporarily stopped operations starting Tuesday in compliance with the enhanced community quarantine to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

The Manila Metro Rail Transit System Line 3 (MRT-3), Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2 (LRT-1 and LRT-2) — all transporting commuters around Metro Manila — announced the suspension of their operations until further notice.

The Philippine National Railways, which serves Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and the Bicol Region, also suspended its operation.

The Transportation Department (DOTr) said the use of private vehicles with only one person per household is allowed to leave homes to buy basic necessities and necessary medical supplies.

It issued guidelines that will be implemented from March 17 to April 13, including the closure of the four train lines.

It also said jeepneys, public utility buses, taxis, Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) such as Grab, FX, UV Express, Point-to-Point (P2P) buses, and motorcycle taxis such as Angkas operations shall be suspended. However, several jeepneys and taxis were seen plying the roads of Metro Manila on Tuesday morning.

DOTr also said foreigners departing the Philippines via international flights will be allowed to leave the country within 72 hours upon the effectivity of the enhanced community quarantine. The operation of airports in Luzon is limited to outgoing flights carrying foreigners and tourists.

It stressed Filipinos are not allowed to go outside the country. DOTr added inbound flights will only be for repatriated Filipinos.