People wearing protective face masks wait for passengers to arrive at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport after India cancelled all flights from the UK over fears o in Mumbai. (Image: Reuters)
Now roaming around the airport, but without a mask, may land you a fine. The penalty will stay even if you wear a mask, but aren't covering your mouth or nose properly.
The fine could be according to that levied by the local authorities, a senior official told Moneycontrol. The CISF, or the city police have the authority to penalise.
In Mumbai and Delhi, the fine is Rs 500.
In an 'advisory circular' on March 30, aviation regulator DGCA said the step comes after surveillance of some airports "it has come to notice that compliance is not satisfactory."
It further said:
"All airport operators, therefore, are requested to ensure that the instructions on COVID-19 protocol from the standpoint of wearing face masks properly, covering nose and mouth, as well as maintaining social distancing norms within the airport premises are followed scrupulously.
"Accordingly, all airport operators may enhance surveillance towards this end. The possibility of taking punitive action such as levy of spot fine in accordance with law shall also be explored with local police authority to serve a deterrent for violation of COVID-19 protocol."
The advisory comes even as the country struggles with a re-surge in COVID-19 numbers. The second wave is severe in Maharashtra, with the state capital Mumbai recording over 5,500 cases each day, over the past week.
The state government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has talked about the possibility of. lockdown. At the same time, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri earlier ruled out suspending domestic flights like it was done in March 2020.
Airlines, on their part, are now ensuring stricter implementation of the protocol. Nearly all airlines have reported to have de-borded passengers who were not wearing masks, or were handed over to the authorities on arrival.