Coronavirus: the “Covidiots” criticized over Tui’s quarantine flight

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Legend
Nearly 200 passengers on a return flight from the Greek island of Zakynthos have been told to self-isolate


A flight from Zakynthos where nearly 200 people were asked to self-isolate was a “debacle” with many travelers not wearing masks, a passenger said.

Stephanie Whitfield told the BBC that Tui’s flight was full of “covidots” who appeared to be breaking the rules.

Sixteen passengers on flight TOM6215 from the Greek island to Cardiff have now tested positive, Public Health Wales (PHW) said.

Tui said safety was a priority and he was concerned about Ms Whitfield’s allegations.

“A full investigation is currently underway as these concerns were not reported during the flight or until today,” Tui added.

The 193 passengers and crew who were on board the flight on August 25 are asked to self-isolate for fifteen days.

Health officials said seven people from three different parties were believed to have been potentially infectious on board the plane.

Dr Giri Shankar of PHW told BBC Radio Wales that people returning from Zakynthos in particular “are catching the infection and getting our attention”.

Greece and its islands remain on the UK government’s list of countries exempt from quarantine, meaning travelers do not need to self-isolate on their return.

‘Debacle’

Ms Whitfield said she and her husband decided to self-isolate even before learning of the positive cases.

“This theft was a debacle. The guy next to me had his mask around his neck. Not only did the airline not lure him in, they gave him a free drink when he said he knew a crew member, ”said Ms. Says Whitfield.

“Lots of people would take off their masks and walk the aisles talking to others.

“As soon as the flight landed, a crowd of people immediately took off their masks. The flight was full of selfish “covidots” and an incompetent crew who didn’t care.

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Stéphanie Whitfield

Legend

Stephanie Whitfield said she and her husband decided to self-isolate for two weeks before learning of the positive cases


Ms Whitfield told BBC Radio 4’s Today show that she noticed a member of the team asked a woman to put on her mask.

“But we weren’t talking to the vast majority of people, and there was a guy sitting next to me who had his mask around his chin for the whole flight, and the hostess was talking to him and she didn’t say anything to him [about the mask], ” she says.

The couple have now sent for a test as they are experiencing mild symptoms, she added.

Tui said in a statement Monday that his crew “are trained to the highest standards.”

“Passengers are informed prior to travel and via AP announcements on the flight that they must wear masks throughout the flight and are not allowed to move around the cabin,” the airline added.

“Masks can only be removed when consuming food and drink. “

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Media captionQuarantine: How can I isolate myself when coming back from abroad?

Dr Shankar, PHW’s director of Covid-19 incidents, told BBC Breakfast that public health officials initially identified seven people who tested positive and were potentially infectious during the flight.

He said since they started alerting passengers the number of confirmed cases had risen to 16, but it was unclear where they contracted the virus.

He said one of the 187 passengers and six crew on board the 3.5-hour flight from Zakynthos to Cardiff airport on Tuesday who was showing symptoms “should book a test without delay”.

These are a group of people from Plymouth who tested positive for the virus after returning from Zante last Monday.

There were 1,715 new cases of coronavirus – and one death – reported in the UK on Sunday – the highest number of daily infections on record since June 4.

Cardiff Airport, which is owned by the Welsh government, said it was working closely with airlines to “make it easier for passengers to travel through this difficult time for the industry”.

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“Tui is taking all necessary measures following today’s report,” said Spencer Birns, acting managing director of Cardiff Airport.

“Cardiff Airport is closely following guidelines set by Public Health Wales, the FCO (Foreign Office) and the UK Government and has already taken a number of steps to ensure the safety and security of our team and our customers , which is our number one priority. “

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