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Flying Amid COVID-19: Airlines Can Now Put Flyers In No Fly List For Refusing To Wear Masks, Serve In-flight Meals

As per revised guidelines from Ministry of Civil Aviation, any passenger who refuses to wear a face mask in a flight can be put on the no-fly list by the airlines

Flying Amid COVID-19: Airlines Can Now Put Flyers In No Fly List For Refusing To Wear Masks, Serve In-flight Meals
Highlights
  • Airlines can now serve inflight meals: DGCA
  • Passengers refusing to wear mask can be put on no-fly list
  • Domestic flights resumed in India from May 25 onwards

New Delhi: It’s been three months since the government resumed domestic commercial flights in India on May 25. From the initial, strictly implemented no-food in flight rules to control the spread of COVID-19, the government has now permitted the airlines to serve pre-packed snacks, meals and beverages on domestic flights and hot meals on international flights.

These guidelines were issued in the latest order from Ministry of Civil Aviation. The order further states that any passenger who refuses to wear a face mask in a flight can be put on the no-fly list by the airline. A senior official of the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), told NDTV,

A passenger who refuses to wear a face mask can be put on no-fly list by the airline. We have not passed any new order in this regard, as the airline and its cabin crew are sufficiently empowered under the existing DGCA rules to take action.

As per the DGCA rules, an airline can choose to put an unruly passenger on its no-fly list after internal deliberations; subsequently, other airlines may follow suit in putting that passenger on their no-fly lists.

If the cabin crew or flight commander finds that an air passenger does not intentionally wear a face mask and poses a threat to other passengers, such ‘reckless’ air passengers will be put on the no-fly list.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: Here’s India’s Current COVID-19 Status, Using The ‘R’ Rate Method

The official said that face masks can be removed only for genuine or legitimate reasons, like drinking water and having food.

Furthermore, when it comes to the in-flight meals, the official said,

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, we had prohibited in-flight meal service on domestic flights since their resumption. On the other hand, on international flights, we were serving only pre-packed cold meals and snacks, depending on the flight duration.

The official said that the Civil Aviation Ministry has now permitted some pre-packed food items on domestic flights, depending upon the duration. He said,

The government has now allowed the airlines to serve pre-packed snacks, meals, pre-packed beverages on domestic flights but this will be depended on the duration of the flight. Airlines and charter flight operators, however, are allowed to serve hot meals and limited beverages on international flights, as per the standard practices.

As per the order, only single-use disposable trays, plates and cutlery should be used while serving food or beverages in domestic and international flights.

Crew will wear a fresh set of gloves for every meal and beverage service, the official said.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation also permitted the aircraft operators to let passengers use the in-flight entertainment system on international as well as domestic flights, wherever available.

Disposable earphones or cleaned and disinfected headphones will be provided to passengers at the start of the journey, the ministry order read.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: Air Conditioners That Recirculate Indoor Air May Increase The Risk Of COVID-19 Transmission, Say Experts

Dr Brijesh Kumar told NDTV that the decision regarding the masks is a great move to show our seriousness towards the usage of masks. Dr Kumar further said that it’s unclear what the impact of prohibiting meals had on the COVID transmission in the first place. He said,

I think the meals were stopped in the first place to make the travellers wear masks at all times and control fomites transfer through the meals. What I don’t understand is that what impact did it have in the first place, as there has been no notification related to that; moreover if there was an impact, I am worried about the easing in restriction now, when the spike in cases are at an all time high. Why are we providing these relaxations now?

Dr Kumar suggests that the travellers should be free to bring their own meals and snacks, and the flights should continue the prohibition of meals for some more time until the daily reported cases come down. He also expressed some concern over the disposable items being used by airlines to control COVID transmission. He said,

With India’s commitment to reduce plastic usage and enhance their waste management, how wise is the decision to get everything in disposables? This according to me is going to put some major stress on our waste burden.

While international passenger flights remain suspended in India, since March 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic; special international flights have been operating under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ and bilateral air bubble arrangements that have been signed with various countries. Domestic flights resumed in India on May 25 after a gap of two months in view of the pandemic. However, airlines are allowed to operate with only 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,43,68,460Cases
22,50,84,762Active
3,40,45,666Recovered
52,38,032Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,43,68,460 and 52,38,032 have died; 22,50,84,762 are active cases and 3,40,45,666 have recovered as on December 3, 2021 at 1:36 pm.

India

3,46,15,757 9,216Cases
99,976 213Active
3,40,45,666 8,612Recovered
4,70,115 391Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,15,757 confirmed cases including 4,70,115 deaths. The number of active cases is 99,976 and 3,40,45,666 have recovered as on December 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,37,221 796

10,882 180

64,85,290 952

1,41,049 24

Kerala

51,51,919 4,700

45,030 252

50,66,034 4,128

40,855 320

Karnataka

29,96,833 363

6,772 169

29,51,845 191

38,216 3

Tamil Nadu

27,28,350 715

8,155 45

26,83,691 748

36,504 12

Andhra Pradesh

20,73,252 159

2,138 11

20,56,670 169

14,444 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,417 12

93 1

16,87,413 11

22,911

West Bengal

16,17,408 657

7,690 22

15,90,208 667

19,510 12

Delhi

14,41,190 217

307 21

14,15,785 196

25,098

Odisha

10,49,597 252

2,211 26

10,38,971 276

8,415 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,870 37

328 12

9,92,949 25

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,827 21

213 10

9,45,659 11

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,570 50

318 25

8,17,158 24

10,094 1

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,199 12

128 4

7,82,543 8

10,528

Haryana

7,71,760 27

178 9

7,61,528 18

10,054

Bihar

7,26,230 5

32 0

7,16,534 4

9,664 1

Telangana

6,76,376 189

3,680 50

6,68,701 137

3,995 2

Assam

6,17,163 124

2,535 77

6,08,517 198

6,111 3

Punjab

6,03,352 32

344 13

5,86,402 18

16,606 1

Jharkhand

3,49,271 15

95 1

3,44,035 13

5,141 1

Uttarakhand

3,44,325 22

182 4

3,36,735 18

7,408

Jammu And Kashmir

3,37,263 177

1,697 10

3,31,089 167

4,477

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,354 85

835 29

2,22,669 113

3,850 1

Goa

1,79,046 56

367 40

1,75,295 16

3,384

Mizoram

1,35,765 315

3,717 55

1,31,545 368

503 2

Puducherry

1,28,998 33

299 10

1,26,826 23

1,873

Manipur

1,25,269 33

663 4

1,22,627 28

1,979 1

Tripura

84,835 15

94 6

83,916 8

825 1

Meghalaya

84,534 24

296 2

82,764 25

1,474 1

Chandigarh

65,475 4

65 1

64,590 5

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,285 6

36 1

54,969 5

280

Sikkim

32,267 15

137 10

31,727 5

403

Nagaland

32,128 3

128 5

31,302 6

698 2

Ladakh

21,642 41

306 21

21,122 20

214

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 1

10,679 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,397 1

18 8

10,328 9

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,686 3

7 2

7,550 1

129

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