New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Tuesday warned it may consider imposing spot fines at airports for those who are found violating the COVID-19 rules like wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing. 

"During the surveillance of some airports, it has come to notice that compliance (of COVID-19 protocols) is not satisfactory. All airport operators, therefore, are requested to ensure that the instructions on COVID-19 protocol from the standpoint of wearing face mask properly, covering nose and mouth, as well as maintaining social distance norms within the airport premises are followed scrupulously," the DGCA said. 

Accordingly, all airport operators can increase surveillance in this regard, the DGCA said. "The possibility of taking punitive action, such as levy of spot fines in accordance with the law, shall also be explored with the local police authorities so as to serve a deterrent for violation of COVID-19 protocol," it stated. 

Fifteen passengers, who were found violating COVID-19 norms on domestic flights of three airlines between March 15 and March 23, may be banned for three months by the carriers, senior officials of DGCA had said last week.

It had earlier asked airlines to de-board passengers who do not wear their masks "properly" despite repeated warnings and take action against them as per its rules.

The warning from the aviation regulatory body comes amid the alarming spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, which is considered as the second wave of coronavirus. The country has reported 56,211 fresh COVID-19 cases and 271 deaths in the last 24 hours while on Monday, it reported a record 68,020 cases, its highest single-day rise so far this year.  

Maharashtra, along with Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, continue to report a surge in the COVID daily new cases, the Health Ministry said today, adding that these states account for 78.56 per cent of the new cases reported. 

While the frequency of domestic flights is back to pre-pandemic levels, the suspension on international flight services, except a few routes, has been extended till April 30.  

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta