SONA attendees required to be fully vaccinated: Mendoza

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MANILA – Only people who have been completely vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to physically attend President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26 at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City, according to a House of Representatives official.

House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza told reporters that SONA attendees would be required to be completely vaccinated, and that roughly 350 guests, including lawmakers, Cabinet members, dignitaries, and other visitors, would be allowed to be physically present in the House.

“Ang ginawa natin kasi, ‘yung mag-aattend ng physically sa SONA, ‘yung papasok, fully vaccinated actually. ‘Yun ang isa sa requirements ng PSG, ni-require ng House. (What we did is that those who will physically attend the SONA should be fully vaccinated. That’s one of the requirements of the PSG that would be required by the House),” Mendoza said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases boosted the plenary’s permissible operational capacity to 30%, he added.

Mendoza stated that guests will be subjected to reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and antigen testing, the latter of which would be required solely for those entering the House plenary.

“Hindi naman natin pupunuin ‘yung plenary eh, plenary siguro mga around 60 (We won’t fill up the plenary, maybe around 60 individuals would be allowed inside),” he said.

According to the official, the Batasang Pambansa would be put on lockdown beginning Friday.

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