Middle Seats on Airlines can be given but only with “Wrap-Around Gowns” says DGCA

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Passengers who are assigned middle seats on a flight should be provided a “additional protective equipment like a wraparound gown of the Textile Ministry approved standards” in addition to a face mask and shield, a DGCA or Director General of Civil Aviation order said on Monday.

“The airlines shall allot seats in a manner that the middle seat is kept vacant if the passenger load and seat capacity permits. However, members of the same family may be allowed to sit together,” said the regulator.

The order reiterated rules like frequent sanitization, replacing of cabin air and a ban on meals or drinking water on flights except for health reasons.

Domestic passenger flights restarted on May 25 after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus lockdown. International commercial passenger flights remain suspended in the country.

The Supreme Court had recently said that keeping middle seats on flights vacant was essential for physical distancing needed to check the spread of coronavirus.