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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Taking stern note of violation of Covid-19 SOPs by air travellers, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Saturday issued a fresh circular to ensure strict compliance by the travellers.

As per the latest notification, the Airlines have to ensure that passengers are following the Covid SOPs. Besides, the violators will be de-boarded and classified as 'unruly passengers'.

The fresh circular comes in the backdrop of reports of violation of the prescribed Covid protocols by travellers while undertaking air journey. The protocols clearly involve wearing of masks properly (not below the nose) during all times of the journey from entering the airport for departure to exiting the airport.

"It has been noted that some passengers after entering the airport do not wear marks properly and are not maintaining social distancing. Similarly, some passengers have been noticed not wearing masks properly while on-board the aircraft," the DGCA circular read.

The DGCA has clearly directed that passengers shall wear masks and maintain social distancing norms at all times of the travel. The mask shall not be moved below the nose except under exceptional circumstances.

Clear, instructions have also been issued to CISF and other police officials deployed at the Airport to ensure that no one is allowed to enter the airport without wearing a mask. In case any passenger is not following 'Covid-19 protocol', they should be handed over to security agencies after proper warnings. If required, they may be dealt as per law, the fresh circular read.

Onboard the aircraft, in case any passenger does not adhere to wearing of mask properly even after repeated warnings, he/she should be deboarded.

"In case any passenger onboard an aircraft refuses to wear a mask or violates the 'Covid-19 protocol for passengers' 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," the circular read.

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