This is the dramatic moment a passenger was dragged from a Ryanair flight by officials dressed in hazardous materials after receiving a message telling them they tested positive for coronavirus moments before departure.
The man and his friend were stepped off the plane in front of shocked passengers minutes before take-off from London’s Stansted Airport yesterday.
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Flight attendants disinfected their seats and overhead cabins and the plane was then able to make its way to Pisa, Italy, almost two hours late.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Ryanair said the passenger received a text message minutes before departure stating that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
He said: “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 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 sitting in 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 ”.
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 spokesperson for Stansted Airport said: ‘The airport was made aware of the passenger by the airline and our fire departments attended to the plane and escorted the passenger (and his travel partner ) to an isolation area where they were put in contact with Public Health England, who then oversaw the passenger’s onward journey. “
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 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.
It can take up to 72 hours for the coronavirus test results to come back.
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A passenger on the flight posted a photo to Instagram showing her with 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.
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It is understood that no further action was taken once the aircraft landed in Italy and no other passengers were forced to isolate themselves.
Passengers claimed the cops boarded the plane before it took off from Stansted.
The Sun Online has reached out to Public Health England and the Met Police for comment.