Mask rule back in airports, aircraft as DGCA issues new Covid norms

Image Source : PTI

Ripple effect: A fresh set of Covid rules are back after the Delhi HC order.

In line with the Delhi High Court order, aviation regulator DGCA has issued new Covid norms for airports, and aircraft, making masks mandatory throughout the journey and permitting mask removal only under exceptional circumstances. Violators may be treated as “unruly passengers”. As per HC order, violators can be put on the ‘no-fly list’.

The Delhi High Court on Friday called for strict action against those found violating masking and hand hygiene norms at airports and in aircraft, observing that the COVID-19 pandemic has not abated and keeps springing up to its ugly head.

The high court said all such persons, who are found to be violating these norms, should be booked and fined and they should be placed on the no-fly list and added that it is essential to introduce sufficient deterrence to enforce compliance of norms.

It said it is noticed that very often the norms are not implemented on the ground with the seriousness with which they are framed and therefore, it is essential for the authorities, including Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ensure that the implementation on the ground is effected properly.

“For this purpose, we are of the view that the DGCA should give separate binding directions to all airlines to authorise the staff at airports and in aircraft, including air hostesses, captains, pilots and others to take strict action against passengers and others who violate the masking and hand hygiene norms,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta said.

The court noted the submission of DGCA’s advocate Anjana Gosain, who herself is inflicted with COVID-19 and appeared through video conferencing, that the Ministry of Civil Aviation has issued another an order on May 10, calling for strict enforcement of COVID-19 protocol.

She said the authorities are seriously implementing norms regarding masking at airports and in aircraft by all concerned

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