Keeping in view the declining cases of Covid-19 in the country, the government on Wednesday removed mandatory requirement to wear masks in flights.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation said that the decision has been taken following a review meeting on the issue with the Ministry of Health.

"The matter, regarding the requirement for mandatory use of masks or face covers during air travel, has been reviewed in consultation with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

"In line with the Government of India's policy of graded approach of Covid-19 management response, the in-flight announcements henceforth may only mention that in view of the threat posed by Covid-19, all passengers should preferably use mask/face covers," the Ministry said in an office memorandum.

The Ministry said that any reference of fine need not be announced with regard to use of masks. "Any specific reference to fine/penal action need not be announced as part of the in-flight announcements. Hence, consolidated Covid-19 instructions for domestic and international air travel issued for passengers, airport operators and airlines issued vide order dated May 10, 2022 stands modified to that extent," it said.

In June this year, the airlines were asked to ensure that all passengers wear face masks properly and continue to wear the mask throughout the journey and masks could be removed under exceptional circumstances and for permitted reasons only.