Indian gov’t says no intention of curtailing flight services amid COVID-19 spike

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NEW DELHI, March 27 (Xinhua) — India’s federal civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri Saturday said the government is not planning to curtail flight services amid the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Puri, however, said plans of making all services functional from April 1 have been postponed.

“No intention of curtailing (flight services). Domestic flights were halted in March (2020) and resumed on 25th May. We’ve been further reopening it. The only intention was to open it 100 percent when summer schedule begins from April 1. We are at 80 percent right now,” Puri was quoted by a local news agency as having said.

Puri said to check the second wave of COVID-19 infections, airport authorities have been instructed to blacklist passengers who fail to adhere to COVID-appropriate behaviour.

This month India’s civil aviation watchdog – Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued circular urging passengers to strictly follow the COVID-19 protocol during air travel and warned violators would be de-boarded and tagged unruly.

The circular stated that passengers should always, during their time on flights and inside the airport premises, wear masks and practise social distancing.

The order further stated that the airport director or terminal manager should ensure that all passengers are wearing masks and following social distancing norms, failing which they would be either warned or handed over to the security agencies for action as per law. Enditem

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