The Directorate-General for Civil Aviation issued strict covid-19 travel guidelines on Wednesday in light of Delhi High Court rulings. The DGCA ordered the airlines to ensure that all passengers wear face masks and continue throughout the journey. Passengers may remove the face mask only in exceptional circumstances and for permissible reasons in accordance with the DGCA Notices.
The Civil Aviation Authority ordered that if a passenger did not follow the guidelines even after the warnings, they should, if necessary, disembark before departure. Airlines should ensure that all passengers are disinfected in accordance with the precautions they have taken.
It further stated that airlines should spread awareness among passengers about the need to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviors and provide extra face masks. Airlines are required to make masks available to passengers if necessary.
In any case, any passenger on board refused to wear a mask, even after repeated warnings, such passengers will be treated as ‘unruly passenger’ as defined in section 3.1 of the Civil Aviation Requirements. That airline is required to comply with Section 3 Series Part VI (dated September 8, 2017) and the procedure for handling such unruly passengers as set forth in the above CAR.
The DGCA further urged the airlines to collect fines for those found without masks at airports and aircraft.