The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has said that passengers will be de-boarded from flights if they refuse to wear masks properly even after repeated warnings.

In an official circular, the aviation regulatory body stated, “It has been noticed that some travellers undertaking air journey do not adhere to ‘Covid-19 protocols’ which essentially involves wearing of masks properly that is not below the nose during all times of the journey from entering the airport for departure to exiting the airport after arrival”.

“It has also been noted that some passengers after entering the airport do not wear masks properly and also do not maintain social distance while being in the airport premises. Similarly, some passengers have been noticed not wearing their masks properly while onboard the aircraft,” added DGCA.

Taking these scenarios into account, DGCA has issued new guidelines. This includes passengers wearing masks and maintaining social distancing norms at all times during air travel. The mask shall not be moved below the nose except under exceptional circumstances.

CISF or other police personnel deployed at the entrance of the airport need to ensure that no one is allowed to enter the airport without wearing a mask. CASO and other supervising officers must ensure this personally.

In case, any passenger is not following the “Covid-19 Protocol”, they will be handed over to security agencies after proper warnings. If required, they may be dealt with as per law.

In case any passenger does not adhere to wearing of mask properly even after repeated warnings, he/she should be de-boarded, if need be, before departure.

If any passenger onboard an aircraft refuses to wear a mask 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” as defined in para 3.1 of Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) Section 3 Series M Part VI (dated September 8, 2017) and the procedure in respect of handling such unruly passenger, as provided in above-mentioned CAR, shall be followed by the concerned airline.”