TIRUCHY: A slew of measures has been put in place at the international airport in Tiruchy to monitor passengers from abroad in the wake of concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
What, however, appears to be overlooked is the risk posed by the crowding outside the terminal, with a majority of visitors found waiting with scant regard for social distancing and usage of face masks.
The situation is no different among those welcoming arriving politicians and dignitaries.
This has led to concerns among airline and airport staff.
“We are trying our best to ensure adherence to the Covid safety protocol. But most visitors at the airport don’t cooperate,” an official said.
CISF personnel, too, are having a tough time managing the crowd outside the terminal. Airport employees on condition of anonymity admitted the need for imposing restrictions on the visitors.
“Apart from those coming to pick up and drop passengers, there are unauthorised currency exchange brokers in the crowd. Though the airport has filed complaints against them several times, such unnecessary visitors are at the airport when international flights arrive,” a source said.
With Omicron cases increasing in the country, some visitors admitted to the need for crowd regulation at the airport.
“The airport should consider imposing regulations on the number of visitors. Even the worker spraying sanitiser on passengers’ baggage was not wearing a face mask properly. Therefore, they should also take steps to ensure visitors to the airport maintain physical distance and use masks. Otherwise, it may result in the spread of coronavirus,” said K Rajkumar, who came to pick a passenger up from the airport.
When contacted, airport director S Dharmaraj said he would take action.
“We regularly make announcements on the need to follow the Covid safety protocol. We will consider the issue and take steps to ensure compliance with the protocol. We will also take action against unauthorised foreign currency exchange agents at the airport,” he said.