Hundreds of passengers isolated after 16 positive COVID-19 tests

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A flight from Greece to Wales carrying ‘selfish covidots’ and incompetent crew’ has led to at least 16 passengers testing positive for COVID-19 and nearly 200 people in two weeks of self-isolation, according to reports.The Germany-based TUI flight – which took off on August 25 from Zante Island to Cardiff with 193 passengers and seven crew members – was a ‘debacle’ and ‘free-for-all’, passengers said at the BBC.

Health officials said seven people from three different parts had already been potentially infectious on board the plane, according to the outlet.

“This theft was a debacle. The guy next to me had his mask around his neck. Not only did the airline not attract him, they gave him a free drink when he said he knew a member of the crew, ”passenger Stephanie Whitfield told the BBC.

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

“As soon as the flight landed, a crowd of people immediately took off their masks. The flight was full of selfish ‘covidots’ and an inept crew who didn’t care, ”Whitfield told BBC Radio 4’s“ Today ”program.

She said she noticed a flight attendant asking a woman to put on her mask, “but the vast majority of people weren’t talking.

Whitfield said she and her husband decided to self-isolate before they even discovered the positive cases, adding that they were being tested because they had mild symptoms.

Another passenger, Victoria Webb, said she only learned of the outbreak when her mother sent her a link to the BBC article on her way home to London from Cardiff.

“I was surprised and a little puzzled as to the best course of action while I was halfway there,” Webb told the BBC.

“I spoke to the train manager who was worried but professional and eventually after a discussion with his head office I moved to a car where I was alone for the rest of the trip,” she said. .

“We also exchanged details so that I could notify her when I got my test result,” added Webb, who is in quarantine but said she had not received any communication from those responsible for the test. health.

“Contact forms are there to be used and communication needs to be quick and thorough so that we know the process is being followed and we can measure its effectiveness,” she added.

Passenger Lee Evans described chaotic scenes at Zakynthos Airport, where he said employees were manipulating passengers’ cell phones to check boarding passes.

“It was free for everyone to get on the plane,” he told the BBC. “There were people changing seats.”

While crew members mentioned the requirement to wear masks, Evans added: “There was not much in terms of controlling what customers were doing on the boat. [airplane]. »

He also said he and his family received an email asking them to self-isolate – nearly a week after the theft.

“Someone has to be held to account,” he told the BBC.

On Monday, TUI said in a statement, “Passengers are informed prior to travel and via AP announcements on the flight that they must wear masks and are not allowed to move around the cabin.

“The masks can only be removed when consuming food and drink,” he added.

Dr Giri Shankar, director of the outbreak response at Public Health Wales, told Sky News all passengers are “absolutely” at risk of contracting the disease.

“We consider all passengers and flight crew to be in close contact with confirmed cases,” he told the agency. “We now know that of the 16 cases confirmed on this particular flight, seven were potentially infectious while they were flying.

A spokeswoman for TUI said the airline was “concerned” about the passengers’ claims.

“Our crew is trained to the highest standards and in accordance with the guidelines of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA),” she told Sky News.

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

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