Deccan Chronicle

Passenger can be deboarded from aircraft for not wearing a mask

Deccan Chronicle.| Vineeta Pandey

Published on: June 8, 2022 | Updated on: June 9, 2022

Aviation regulator issues directions for compliance on mask rule

The personnel of the CISF have been tasked to enforce the mask rules at all airports. (Representational image: PTI)

The personnel of the CISF have been tasked to enforce the mask rules at all airports. (Representational image: PTI)

New Delhi: If a passenger does not comply with Covid-19 protocols and refuses to wear a mask despite repeated warnings, such a passenger can be treated as an "unruly passenger" and can be de-boarded, if need be, before departure, the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation has told all airlines.

Such passengers can also be fined as per the rules of the state where the airport is located and may be even handed over to the security agencies for further action. The latest order by the DGCA comes after the Delhi High Court order with regard to strict compliance of Covid-19 protocols inside airports and in aircraft. The DGCA has said all passengers at all times must wear masks throughout the journey. The mask can be removed under exceptional circumstances and permitted reasons only. The personnel of the CISF have been tasked to enforce the mask rules at all airports.

Airlines and airports have been asked to make regular announcements on the wearing of masks and keep extra masks with them for passengers who do not have one. Airport operators have been asked to take sanitisation measures and provide hand sanitisers at prominent places at the terminals.

The DGCA has clarified these directions are not in supersession of the prevailing directions issued by the Centre or any state government, but are in addition to such prevailing directions.

Covid-19 cases in the country are again on a slow rise as India recorded 5,233 fresh cases and seven deaths in the past 24 hours.

While observing that the Covid-19 pandemic has not abated and keeps springing up its ugly head now and then, the Delhi high court on Friday underlined the importance of enforcing and following Covid-appropriate behaviour, especially in enclosed spaces like aircraft. The high court called for strict action against those found violating the mask and hand hygiene norms at airports and in aircraft.

"The DGCA should issue separate binding directions to all airlines to authorize the staff at airports and in aircraft, including flight persons, captains/pilots, air hostesses and others to take strict action against passengers and others who violate masking and hand hygiene norms. All persons violating the said norms should be booked and fined and they should be placed on the no-fly list," the HC order said.

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