In view of the rising COVID-19 cases across the country, Indian Railways on Saturday announced that a fine of up to Rs 500 will be imposed on the passengers for not wearing face masks at the railway premises or during travel in trains. The order on face masks has been issued for a period of 6 months till further instructions.

This is the latest in a slew of measures that the railways has taken to ensure compliance of the various COVID-19 protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs to restrict the spread of the virus. 

In a letter to all the General Managers of Railway zones, Executive Director of Passenger Marketing Neeraj Sharma said, "Indian Railways is taking various measures to contain the spread of the resurgence of Covid-19 pandemic, in accordance with the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time. One of the specific guideline is to wear masks in order to contain the spread of the pandemic."

"The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for movement of trains as brought out by Indian Railways on May 11, 2020, says that it should be advised to all passengers that they shall be wearing face cover/ mask at entry and during travel," he added.

The mandatory use of masks and the fine will now be listed under the Indian Railways (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at Railway Premises) Rules, 2012, which also has the provision of fines for those found spitting on rail premises, it said.
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