Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Saturday that passengers will be de-boarded if they don't wear masks properly inside aircraft or don't follow COVID appropriate behaviour. Also, if a passenger violates protocol despite repeated warnings then the passenger will be treated as 'Unruly Passenger'. DGCA said in its circular dated March 13, "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". DGCA further emphasised that there have been situations where some passengers do not wear masks properly and also do not maintain social distance while being in the airport premises. Similarly, some passengers have also been noticed not wearing their marks properly while on-board the aircraft.
In view of this, the regulator has ordered all passengers to wear masks and maintain social distancing norms at all times during air travel. "The mask shall not be moved below the nose except under exceptional circumstances," said DGCA. It further stated that CISF or other police personnel deployed at the entrance of the airport shall ensure that no one is allowed to enter the airport without wearing a mask. CASO and other supervising officers have been asked to ensure this personally. Airport Director/Terminal Managers have been asked to ensure that passengers are wearing masks properly and do maintain social distance at all times within the airport premises. In case, any passengers is found violating the "Covid-19 Protocol', they should be handed over to security agencies after proper warnings. If required, they may be dealt as per law. DGCA further stated, "Onboard the aircraft, in case any passenger does not adhere to wearing mask properly even after repeated warnings, they should be de-boarded, if need be, before departure. "In case, 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 passengers may be treated as 'Unruly Passenger' as defined in Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) and the procedure in respect of handling such unruly passenger shall be followed by the concerned airline. DGCA has asked for the direction to be followed with immediate effect. Strict actions will be taken in case of any violation.