Passengers who refuse to wear masks can be removed from flight: DGCA
New Delhi/IBNS: The lack of masks at airports and in flights has prompted the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to take action as Covid numbers are rising in parts of the country.
The civil aviation regulator Wednesday said passengers who refuse to comply with the mask mandate could be de-boarded ahead of take-off or treated as unruly passengers.
The personnel of the CISF will be in charge of enforcing masks.
The fresh DGCA guidelines came days after the Delhi High Court ordered a tough action against passengers who refuse to comply with Covid safety measures.
In its order, the DGCA said: "The Airline shall ensure that in case any passenger does not adhere to instructions 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 masks 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'," the order said.
Airport operators have been asked to increase announcements and surveillance.
The authorities have been empowered to impose fines on those who refuse to wear masks or can be handed over to security agencies to take action as per law, the DGCA order read.
In its order of June 3, the court called for strict action, observing that the pandemic is not over.
If the passenger refuses to follow protocol despite reminders, action should be taken under the health ministry or DGCA guidelines, the court said.
India is once again witnessing a spike as 5,233 new cases were registered in the past 24 hours taking the daily positivity rate to 1.67 per cent, as per data released by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.
Maharashtra alone recorded 1,881 new Covid-19 cases, the highest in recent days, with no death in the past 24 hours, the health bulletin said on Wednesday.