Chennai

Days after flights resume, norms go for a toss

A long wait: Though only a limited number of flights were operated on Monday, passengers had to wait in serpentine queues to get in.

A long wait: Though only a limited number of flights were operated on Monday, passengers had to wait in serpentine queues to get in.  

Long queues seen at airport, with no physical distancing

Long queues without any physical distancing. Chennai airport seems to have gone back to a pre-COVID-19 era.

Though only a limited number of flights operate every day, the airport is witnessing serpentine queues in two areas — the entry to the terminal and at the security check.

There are only about 40-45 flights that the airport currently handles after airlines resumed domestic operations early last week. But, passengers do not follow physical distancing norms, rendering them vulnerable to contracting the infection from co-passengers.

S. Janaki (name changed), a passenger who recently travelled from Chennai to Bengaluru, said, “It was scary to see people so close to each other. Both passengers and authorities need to be aware of the seriousness of this situation. The responsibility lies on both sides equally. But the authorities could have a volunteer wearing PPE or mask and gloves constantly reminding passengers to maintain distance between one another. Passengers should also realise that their life is at risk and behave responsibly.”

She added that with many passengers coming to the airport hours before their flight, those with earlier flights had to jostle with others in queues.

Airports Authority of India officials insist that they keep urging passengers to stand apart but admit that many disregard their pleas. “We have seen a lot of first-time flyers in the last one week and they are not quite aware of the rules. We keep telling them but the staff are also scared to go very close to passengers,” an official said.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 9:19:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/within-days-after-flights-resume-all-safety-norms-go-for-a-toss/article31726642.ece

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