- BBC News World
This is how some of the approximately 200 passengers on a flight of the Anglo-German airline Tui, which made the trip from the Greek island of Zante to the Welsh capital, Cardiff, on August 25, he passed when, after landing, they had to quarantine before the possibility of being infected with the coronavirus.
A passenger said the flight was full of covidiotes. Others said there was “not much” vigilance from the crew on social distancing rules to prevent covid-19 and that many people were not using masks correctly.
At the end, 16 passengers they tested positive in the coronavirus test, for which all those on board – 193 travelers plus the crew – had to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine on arrival in the UK.
The airline said safety was one of its top priorities. “Our crew are trained to the highest standards,” he said.
“A full investigation (into what happened) is ongoing, as these allegations were not made during the flight” or in the days immediately following, he added.
Health authorities have said they believe seven people from three different sections of the plane were potentially infectious during the flight.
Giri Shankar, from the Welsh Department of Public Health, told the BBC that people returning from Zante in particular are “catching the infection”.
Greece and its islands are exempt from the mandatory quarantine imposed by the London government for travelers from other destinations arriving in the UK, although on August 29 the UK authorities updated their guidelines on Zante due of the increase in coronavirus cases on this island.
Stephanie Whitfield said she and her husband unilaterally decided to self-isolate before learning of the positive cases.
“This theft was a debacle. The man next to me had his mask around his neck. Not only did the airline not catch his eye, they gave him a free drink when he said he knew a crew member,” Whitfield said.
“A lot of people were taking off their masks and wandering the halls talking to others,” he said.
“As soon as the flight landed, many people immediately took off their masks. The flight was full of selfish ‘covidiots’ and an incompetent crew who didn’t care What happened“, he added.
Whitfield told the BBC he saw a crew member ask a woman to put on a mask.
“But the vast majority of people didn’t say anything,” he said.
The couple said they requested a coronavirus test as they have mild symptoms.
Victoria Webb was also on that same flight and said that discovered the epidemic when his mother sent him a link to an article by BBCNews on a trip to London from Cardiff.
“I was shocked and a little lost as to the best decision to make since I was only halfway there,” she said.
“I spoke to the flight attendant who was concerned but professional and eventually, after a discussion with the general management, he moved me to a car where I was alone for the rest of the trip,” he said. she declared.
“We also exchanged contacts so that we could let you know when I had my test results,” he explained.
Webb is now self-quarantining in accordance with government advice, but said he has not received any communication from health authorities, such as track and trace.
The International Air Transport Association (Iata, for its acronym in English) recommends passengers to wear face coverings and the use of masks as one of the many actions aimed at reducing the risk of contracting covid-19 in on board planes.
Proposed additional measures:
- Temperature screening of passengers and airport employees
- Embarkation and disembarkation processes that reduce contact with other passengers or crew
- Limit movement inside the cabin during the flight
- More frequent and thorough cabin cleaning
- Streamlined meal service procedures to reduce crew movement and passenger interaction
IATA does not recommend restricting the use of the middle seat to create social distancing on board planes.
Lee Evans, who was also on that flight, described chaotic scenes at Zante airport, where he said staff members tampered with passengers’ phones to check boarding passes.
“Getting on the plane was a free fight for everyone”he told the BBC. “There were people changing seats.”
“There wasn’t much oversight of what passengers were doing on the plane,” although the requirement to wear masks on board was tightened, Evans said.
He said he received an email nearly a week after the flight telling him and his family to self-isolate, saying that it was like a “shock”. “Somebody has to be held accountable,” he said.
Another passenger, who asked to be identified as Lewis, said he had flown 11 times in the past six weeks with various airlines and all other flights except Tui were fine.
“You mismanaged the flight”, mentioned. “We informed the cabin crew that people were constantly taking off their masks. No one came near these people,” he explained.
“We should have been told to isolate ourselves before getting off the plane. We only learned from the news that this had happened. Five days later, I cannot tell you how many people I have been in contact,” he said. mentioned.
Travel expert Simon Calder said the time taken to connect with people was worrying.
“It is absolutely imperative that people follow the rules,” he warned.
“Speaking on behalf of cabin crew in general… it is very difficult to monitor a night flight from an island a where you go party like Ibiza, or in this case, Zante“, he analyzes.
Tui said in a statement Monday that he was following protocol and instructing passengers to wear masks.
“Passengers are informed before travel and via in-flight megaphone announcements that they must wear masks at all times and are not permitted to move around the cabin. Masks can only be removed when consuming alcohol. food and drink.”
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