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Monday, June 27, 2022
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    DGCA’s Wednesday circular said airlines must ensure the passengers wear masks properly on flights and they are removed from faces only ‘under exceptional circumstances and for permitted reasons’

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    DGCA | Coronavirus

    Airlines must de-board any passenger before departure if they refuse to wear face mask inside an aircraft even after being warned, aviation regulator DGCA said on Wednesday.

    Besides, airport operators must take help of the local police and security agencies and levy fines on people not wearing face masks, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a circular.

    The circular followed a Delhi High Court order of June 3 which said the “DGCA should issue separate binding directions to all staff persons deployed at the airports and in the aircraft, including flight attendants, air hostesses, captains/pilots and others, to take strict action against passengers and others who violate the masking and hygiene norms”.

    All such persons found violating the norms must be fined and persistent defaulters must be placed on the no- fly list, the court had said.

    The DGCA’s Wednesday circular said airlines must ensure the passengers wear masks properly on flights and they are removed from faces only “under exceptional circumstances and for permitted reasons”.

    If a passenger needs an extra face mask, the airline must provide it, it noted.

    “The airline shall ensure that in case any passenger does not adhere to above instructions even after repeated warnings, he or she should be de-boarded, if need be, before departure,” it said.

    In case any passenger refuses to wear mask or violates the COVID-19 protocol even after repeated warnings in flight mid-air, he must be treated as “unruly passenger” as defined in the DGCA regulations, the circular said.

    The DGCA regulations give powers to airlines to ban passengers for a certain period of time after they have been declared “unruly”.

    Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and other police personnel deployed at the entrance of the airport must ensure that no one is allowed to enter the premises without wearing a mask, it said.

    All airport operators must increase announcements and surveillance to ensure that passengers at terminal are wearing face masks properly and following COVID-appropriate behaviour at all times within the airport premises, it noted.

    “In case any passenger does not wear mask or refuses to wear mask and follow COVID-19 protocol, he should be fined as per the respective state law where the airport is located and he may even be handed over to security agencies,” it said.

    Airport operators must take sanitisation measures at airports and provide hand sanitisers or dispensers at prominent places in the terminal, it noted.

    “Also, airport operators shall levy fines on those violating COVID-19 protocols in accordance with state regulations with the help of local police and security agencies for violation of COVID-19 protocols,” it added.

    DGCA’s latest order comes at a time when daily coronavirus infections in India were recorded above 5,000 after 93 days taking the total tally of Covid cases to 43 million while the active cases rose to 28,857, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

    A total of 5,233 infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours, while the death toll climbed to 524,715 with seven fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.

    The active cases comprise 0.07 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid recovery rate was 98.72 per cent, the ministry said.

    An increase of 1,881 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.67 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 1.12 per cent, according to the ministry.

    (Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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