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If you are flying somewhere from India, make sure you wear a mask, else you can be deboarded. With COVID-19 cases rising again in some parts of the country, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued fresh guidelines for air passengers, making masks mandatory again on board an aircraft.
Those who refuse to comply with the COVID-19 Protocol can be de-boarded ahead of take-off or treated as unruly passengers, the civil aviation regulator said in its order.
"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," the DGCA said.
It added that any passenger who refuses to wear mask or violates the COVID-19 Protocol even after repeated warnings during the course of the flight, may be treated as "Unruly Passenger."
The CISF personnel will be in charge of enforcing masks. Airport operators have been asked to increase announcements and surveillance in this regard.
The DGCA order mentioned that cases of refusal to wear masks can be dealt with fine or the passengers can be handed over to security agencies to take action as per law.
The new DGCA guidelines came days after the Delhi High Court ordered a strict action against air passengers violating Covid safety measures.
Observing that the pandemic is not over, the court called for strict action if any passenger refuses to follow protocol despite reminders. Action should be taken under health ministry or DGCA guidelines, the court said in its order of June 3.
The violators can be physically removed, put on a "no-fly" list or be handed over to security agencies for further action, it added.
The order was issued after hearing a petition filed on the experience of a sitting judge of the high court in a domestic flight.
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