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DGCA has asked airlines to ensure that flyers follow the Covid protocol. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Warning! Wear your mask right or airlines can deboard you

If you are travelling by air, ensure that you are wearing your mask right inside the aircraft and are following all Covid-appropriate behaviour at the airport. The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has said that airlines can deboard passengers if they do not wear masks properly inside aircraft.

“Onboard the Aircraft, in case any passenger does not adhere to wearing of mask properly even after repeated warnings, he or she should be de-boarded, if need be, before departure,” a DGCA circular said.

Taking note of the violation of COVID appropriate behaviour, the DGCA said. “If any passenger onboard an aircraft refuses to wear a mask or violates the COVID-19 Protocol for passengers even after repeated warnings, such passenger may be treated as “Unruly Passenger,” the DGCA said.

“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,” it said.

The DGCA said it has been noticed that some travellers undertaking air journey do not adhere to “COVID-19 protocols”, which essentially involve wearing of masks properly — not below the nose, right from entering the departing airport to exiting from the arriving airport.

The aviation watchdog has directed the CISF/ police personnel deployed at the entrance of the airport to ensure that no one is allowed to enter the airport without wearing a mask.

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“Important Circular issued by DGCA regarding the compliance of Covid-19 related protocols while travelling by air. Passengers are requested to strictly adhere to the directions to avoid any punitive action,” Air India tweeted.

The circular said that the passengers will wear masks and maintain social distancing norms at all times during air travel, adding the mask shall not be moved below the nose except under exceptional circumstances.

The latest directives come against the backdrop of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in certain parts of the country.

Meanwhile, India’s total active caseload stands at 2.02 lakh today. The present active caseload is 1.78% of the total positive cases. 24,882 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed. Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh reported 87.72% of the new cases in the last 24 hours.