Just in: Passengers refusing to wear a mask or follow COVID-19 protocol while travelling via flight will be deboarded. This comes in as a strict order from DGCA to all the airlines operating in India. The announcement was made on Wednesday, 8 June 2022.
A circular was passed on Wednesday by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to the airlines to classify all the troublemakers who refuse to follow the basic Covid-19 protocol as “unruly passengers”, and to deboard them immediately. Also, there is an order from the DGCA to levy fines on people who refuse to wear a mask while boarding and if required take the help of the local police and security agencies if the situation gets out of control. And persistent defaulters must be placed on the no-fly list.
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”.
“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 does not wear a mask or refuses to wear a 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.
“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.
Since the Centre restarted scheduled domestic flights on May 25, 2020, after a two-month-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DGCA had made it compulsory for passengers to follow other COVID-19 protocols and wear masks inside airports and aircraft.