A scene at Chennai Airport. File | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

Wearing masks during air travel is no longer mandatory, and the government has asked the airlines not to impose fines.

However, the cabin crew will have to announce that the passengers should “preferably” use masks or face covers, says the Office Memorandum issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on November 16.

According to the guidelines on COVID-19 protocol issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in March 2021, the airlines could declare passengers as unruly and bar them from flying for three months to two years, and airports could impose a fine if passengers refused to comply with the social distancing norms or did not wear masks. The guidelines came after a Delhi High Court observed that the COVID-19 norms were being violated by passengers.


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