A PASSENGER with Covid-19 on a Ryanair flight had “no symptoms” and the plane was only seconds away from take-off when he received a message saying it was positive, a companion said. travel today.
Fionn Murphy was about to fly from Stansted Airport to London for a nine-day vacation to Pisa, Italy on Wednesday when the plane was suddenly stopped.
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A passenger and his friend were then dragged dramatically off the plane by workers in hazmat suits.
Mr Murphy, 21, said the Ryanair plane was reversing and about to taxi to the runway before coming to a stop.
“The doors were closed, we were ready to fly… it was literally the last minute,” he told Sun Online.
“I got up and walked to the back of the plane to grab one of the empty seats there and the flight attendant told me to sit down as we were on about to take off. And then it all stopped.
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Fionn said he assumed the infected passenger received the text message confirming he was positive just before the flight took off.
“At first I thought maybe it was because of the result of a temperature check, but I didn’t remember that there had been,” he said.
Fionn, who was traveling to Italy with his mother Fliss Hamblyn, said he was angry about being exposed to the virus.
“We’re the kind of family that disinfects our groceries, we take that very seriously,” he says.
“I’m pretty pissed off, it’s not Ryanair’s fault, it’s nobody else’s fault, it’s their fault for flying.
“It’s just stupid of him. ”
Fionn said Ryanair had not contacted him since the flight and all passengers were able to disembark in Italy as usual.
“I put my name there, I’m waiting for an answer,” he said.
Fionn shared a video on social media of workers in hazmat suits talking to the front passenger about escorting him off the plane.
GIVE A TEXT MESSAGE
Ryanair did not respond to Sun Online’s requests for comment today, but said in a statement yesterday: “A passenger who boarded a flight from London Stansted to Pisa on August 26, received an SMS notification before the departure indicating that he had tested positive for Covid -19.
“The passenger and his traveling companion were immediately unloaded and taken to an isolation area at Stansted Airport where they were assisted by local public health authorities.
“As this passenger and his companion had fully complied with Ryanair’s 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 were seated on the plane before departure.
“There was little or no risk of transmission of Covid-19 to other passengers or crew as all also wore face masks at all times.
“The plane left for Pisa after a delay of 1 hour and 20 minutes to allow disinfection of empty seats and hanging cabin bins in accordance with all guidelines from the UK health authorities. Ryanair apologizes to all passengers for this short delay. ”
Flight attendants disinfected the pair’s seats and overhead cabins and the plane was then able to make its way to Pisa, Italy, nearly two hours late.
But despite the drama, passengers were told they did not have to self-isolate after arriving at their destination.
In a cabin ad, passengers were told, “There’s no need to self-isolate, okay, when we get to Pisa because the government doesn’t require the Kingdom to self-isolate.” – United and no test, okay. ”
Passenger Jake told Sun Online today that they remained “extremely nervous” after watching the scenes unfold on their flight – his first overseas trip since the outbreak of the pandemic.
He said: “Of course we were wondering what the situation would be like when we arrived in Italy and when we returned to the UK after our vacation.
“We were very worried about having to isolate ourselves, which of course would have completely affected our plans.
“It made us extremely nervous during the whole flight as there would be problems arriving in Italy. ”
Jake – who was on a four-night trip to Italy with friends – said the crew handled the situation long after authorities moved to remove passengers from the plane.
He added: “I think the passenger received the text while we were seated on the plane. We had stepped back from the grandstand, started the engines and were ready to go.
“We then waited about 10 minutes and returned to where the problem had been addressed. “
Video filmed by a horrified passenger showed three people dressed in protective gear approaching the passenger and his friend.
Other passengers were told to stay in their seats when the infected man was approached.
A flyer took an audio recording of one of the crew explaining what happened – it starts halfway through a sentence but confirms ‘Covid-19 on board’.
They added: ” [The] The captain said that before you probably didn’t understand because the radio was very low.
“They’re taking this person, okay, then we can go.”
“There’s no need for self-isolation, okay, when we get to Pisa because the government doesn’t need to isolate itself from the UK and no test, okay.
“This is currently the information we have. ”
Another audio recording of the pilot indicated that two passengers had been removed from the flight, with the captain saying: “Two passengers of whom… one received the text from the UK authorities.
“Now we are waiting for authority. ”
Anyone traveling from the UK to Italy does not currently have to quarantine on arrival, due to the airlift arrangement between the countries.
A spokesperson for Stansted Airport said: ‘The airport was made aware of the passenger by the airline and our firefighters attended the plane and escorted the passenger (and his travel partner) to to an isolation area where they were put in contact with Public Health England, who then oversaw the passenger’s onward travel. ”
If the passenger received the text message before boarding the plane, they had violated the coronavirus quarantine rules.
NHS England has told people with symptoms or waiting for a test result to stay home.
“If you are tested because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with should stay home until you get your result. Anyone in your support bubble should also stay home, ”their advice says.
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It can take up to 72 hours for the coronavirus test results to come back.
A passenger on the flight posted a photo to Instagram showing her and a friend wearing masks.
“The face when you’re about to take off and someone gets a track and trace text,” she captioned the photo.