New Delhi, March 13: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Saturday directed airlines to "de-board" passengers from flights if they don't wear masks properly or violate COVID-19 appropriate behaviour inside the aircraft. The DGCA circular also stated if a passenger continues to violate protocols, s/he can be treated as "Unruly Passenger" by the airlines. No Check-In Baggage? Get Discount on Air Ticket Fares for Domestic Flights.

"It has been noticed that some travellers undertaking air journey do not adhere to 'Covid-19 protocols' which essentially involves wearing of masks properly that is not below the nose during all times of the journey from entering the Airport for departure to exiting the airport after arrival," the DGCA circular said. "It has also been noted that some passengers after entering the airport do not wear mask properly and also do not maintain social distance while being in the airport premises. Similarly, some passengers have been noticed not wearing their masks properly while on-board the aircraft," it added. DGCA Bars Passengers From Clicking Photos at a Govt Aerodrome or From Aircraft in Flight, Says Order Issued 'to Maintain Highest Standards of Safety'.

Accordingly, the DGCA issued fresh guidelines for passengers. The guidelines come into effect immediately.

  • Passengers shall wear masks and maintain social distancing norms at all times during air travel. The mask shall not be moved below the nose except under exceptional circumstances.
  • CISF or other Police personnel deployed at the entrance of the Airport shall ensure that no one is allowed to enter the Airport without wearing a mask. CASO and other supervising officers must ensure this personally.
  • The Airport Director/Terminal Manager, as applicable, must ensure that passengers are wearing masks properly and do maintain social distance at all times within the Airport premises. In case, any passenger is not following "COVID-19 Protocol", they should be handed over to security agencies after proper warnings. If required, they may be dealt as per law.
  • On board the Aircraft, in case any passenger does not adhere to wearing of mask properly even after repeated warnings, he/she should be de-boarded, if need be, before departure. In case, any passenger on board an aircraft refuses to wear mask or violates the "COVID-19 Protocol for passengers" even after repeated warnings, during the course of the flight, such passenger may be treated as "Unruly Passenger" as defined in para 3.1 of Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) Section 3 Series M Part VI (dated 8th September, 2017) and the procedure in respect of handling such unruly passenger, as provided in above mentioned CAR, shall be followed by the concerned Airline.

The new guidelines come in the wake of rising cases of coronavirus at least in eight states. These states are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Haryana.

In the last 24 hours, Maharashtra recorded 15,817 new cases; Punjab reported 1,408; Karnataka logged 833; Gujarat 715; Tamil Nadu noted 670 cases; Madhya Pradesh 603; Delhi 431 cases and Haryana reported 385, as per the data shared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Meanwhile, India's total active caseload stands at 2.02 lakh (2,02,022) on Saturday, of which, Maharashtra alone accounted 63.57 per cent.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 13, 2021 03:31 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website