Wearing masks on flights and airports no longer mandatory in India: Aviation Ministry

Wearing masks on flights and airports no longer mandatory in India: Aviation Ministry

Representative picture

(Anindya Chattopadhyay/BCCL Delhi)

Given the decline in COVID-19 cases in the country, the government on Wednesday scrapped the requirement to wear masks on flights. The Civil Aviation Ministry said the decision was made following a review meeting on the matter with the Health Ministry.

“The matter regarding the requirement for the mandatory use of masks or face coverings during air travel has been reviewed in consultation with the Department of Health and Family Welfare.”

“In line with the Government of India’s policy of a graduated approach to management’s response to COVID-19, in-flight announcements can now only mention that in view of the threat posed by COVID-19, all passengers should preferably use a mask/face covering,” the department said in a desk memorandum.

The ministry said any fine reference need not be announced regarding the use of masks. “No specific reference to a fine/penal action need be announced as part of the in-flight announcements. Therefore, consolidated COVID-19 instructions for domestic and international air travel issued for passengers, operators of airport and airlines issued a blank order dated May 10, 2022, is amended to that extent,” he added.

In June this year, airlines were told to ensure all passengers wear face masks correctly and continue to wear the mask throughout the journey. Passengers could only remove the masks in exceptional circumstances and for authorized reasons.

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The above article was published from a telegraphic source with minimal changes to the title and text.

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