Officials say there was ‘little if any risk’ of transmission as all passengers and crew were wearing face masks
Sarah Marsh – The Guardian
Hazmat-clad officials rushed on board a Ryanair flight moments before it departed from London Stansted to remove a passenger who had tested positive for coronavirus.
On Wednesday night, a passenger received a text from test and trace minutes before departure informing him that he had Covid-19. He and the passenger he was travelling with were then taken off the plane before it was due to fly to Pisa in Italy.
The pair were moved to the airport’s isolation area, where they were met by health authorities. Their seats and the overhead cabin bins were then disinfected, with the plane finally leaving over an hour behind schedule.
Ryanair said in a statement: “The passenger and his travel companion were immediately offloaded and taken to a Stansted airport isolation area where they were assisted by local public health authorities.
“Since this passenger and his companion had complied fully with Ryanair health regulations, they were both wearing masks at all times at Stansted Airport and for the very short period (less than 10 minutes) they were seated on the aircraft prior to departure.
“There was little if any risk of Covid-19 transmission to other passengers or crew members as all of whom were also wearing face masks at all times.
“The aircraft departed for Pisa following a delay of one hour and 20 mins to allow for the empty seats and overhead cabin bins to be disinfected to comply with all UK health authority guidance. Ryanair apologises to all passengers for this short delay.”
Video footage shows three officials dressed in protective clothing moving towards the individual as a crew member tries to keep passengers in their seats.
NHS England says on its website that those with symptoms should stay at home and avoid all travel. Instructions on the Department of Health website read: “If you are getting a coronavirus test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must self-isolate until you get your result.
“This also applies to anyone in your support bubble (where someone who lives alone – or just with their children – can meet people from one other household).”