Next time you book an air ticket, the airline will send you an e-copy of the Covid protocol that must be meticulously followed at airports during arrival and departure, and inflight during the journey. The DGCA on 13 March directed all airlines to provide passengers its circular, which lays down the pandemic-time travel protocols emphasizing on physical distancing and wearing masks properly at all times, along with ticket and also with electronic or normal boarding card, as applicable.
The regulator also directed airlines to make passengers aware of the travel protocols, ensure their strict compliance, and the consequences of wilfully violating them. Airlines have been asked to sensitise passengers to these steps through frequent boarding-gate and onboard announcements.
The DGCA action follows an order by the Delhi high court on 8 March 2021, after Justice C Hari Shankar observed an alarming situation — a blatant violation of Covid protocols by passengers — while travelling on an Air India flight from Kolkata to Delhi on 5 March.
The court also directed all authorities concerned to accord adequate publicity to these guidelines, so that there is strict compliance with them.