In order to serve a deterrent for violation of COVID-19 protocol, the possibility of taking punitive action like levy of spot fines in accordance with the law shall also be explored with local police authorities.
On Tuesday, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told airports to consider imposing spot fines on air passengers, with the help of police authorities, who are found without wearing masks and not observing social distancing as per the COVID-19 pandemic rules. On March 13, airports and airlines were asked by DGCA to ensure that passengers wear masks and maintain social distance at all times during their air travel, and take action against the ones violating the COVID-19 norms, according to a PTI report. On Tuesday, the regulator issued a statement saying that during the surveillance of some airports, it has come to notice that compliance (of coronavirus protocols) is not satisfactory.
The DGCA said that all airport operators, therefore, are requested to make sure that the instructions on novel coronavirus protocol, which include wearing face mask properly, covering mouth and nose, as well as observing social distancing norms within the airport premises are followed scrupulously. All airport operators can increase surveillance in this regard accordingly, it stated. In order to serve a deterrent for violation of COVID-19 protocol, the possibility of taking punitive action like levy of spot fines in accordance with the law shall also be explored with local police authorities, according to the aviation regulator.
The circular issued on March 13 had asked the airport operators to hand over those air passengers to the security agencies who are not following the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic protocol even after repeated warnings. Moreover, the aviation regulator had asked the airlines to de-board the flyers who refused to adhere to novel coronavirus norms even after repeated warnings as well as consider banning them from flying for at least a period of three months. Last week, some senior officials of the DGCA had said that fifteen passengers, who were found violating pandemic norms between March 15 and March 23 on domestic flights of three airlines might be banned for three months by the carriers.