An angry vacationer aboard a TUI flight with 193 passengers from Zante to Cardiff hit the airline after they were told that they all need to self-isolate after 16 positive coronavirus tests.
Passengers who were on TUI flight 6215 on Tuesday are considered “close contacts” of those who tested positive for COVID-19, forcing them all to be quarantined for two weeks.
Seven of the passengers on the flight were positive at the time of the trip, another nine have been positive since then.
However, one passenger has now reported to TUI and claimed that the "incompetent" crew did nothing to ensure that social distance was maintained on the flight.
The angry aviator said she saw fellow travelers take off masks and freely mingle with friends and families on board.
Stephanie Whitfield from Cardiff, who was on the flight with her husband, told the BBC: “This flight was a debacle. The guy next to me had his mask around his neck. Not only did the airline not pull him up, they gave him a free drink when he said he knew a member of the crew.
Many people took off their masks and walked up and down the hallways to talk to others.
As soon as the flight landed, a lot of people immediately took off their masks. The flight was full of selfish "covidiots" and an incompetent crew who couldn't care less. "
According to Dr. Gwen Lowe, Communicable Disease Control Advisor at Public Health Wales, there are 16 cases of Covid-19 linked to people who took Tui Flight 6215 to Cardiff on Aug. 25, including the seven who did had him on the flight.
She said there had been around 30 cases of returning from Zante in the past week in Wales, which has been confirmed in people who were on different flights and staying in different locations.
Stephanie Whitfield, 39, was traveling with her husband on the Zante-Cardiff flight when she spotted fellow travelers walking around without a mask
She struck at TUI, claiming that the "incompetent" crew did nothing to ensure social distance was maintained on the flight
Dr. Lowe said today: “In the last week we have had about 30 cases in Wales that have come back from Zante.
& # 39; Different flights on different days in different locations.
"These are confirmed positive cases and we expect that number will increase."
She said officials were in the process of reaching all 193 people on the Tui flight.
Dr. Lowe said it was "very evident" from work in Wales that the majority of people are not getting the virus from strangers.
"Yes, you can be unlucky and you can get it from a random stranger or from a super-spreader, but the vast majority of people get it from their workmates, their workmates, their family and friends," she said.
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When asked whether airlines should be more proactive in encouraging people to wear masks, Dr. However, Lowe that wearing face-coverings could "help" indicated that it was an "informal measure" and added that it was difficult for airlines to monitor police.
“When someone is determined not to wear a mask, people often don't know how to wear masks properly, they often touch them, they wear them under their noses, they take them off to eat.
"And when you have covid symptoms, the covid symptoms are going to spread to confined spaces like airplanes pretty quickly," she said.
Ms. Whitfield said she and her husband decided to isolate before finding out about the positive cases and revealed that they have some symptoms of the virus.
She added that she was "angrier" than anything else.
Phillipa Clarke told Mail Online, “My daughter and two friends flew from Zante to Birmingham Airport at midnight Friday.
"She has since heard on social media chat that a group of 11 Cardiff boys they were friends with were chatting in the evenings, the same flights, transfers, hotel and pool, 3 tested positive, so they are currently isolating . " I would be interested if / when we hear about Track & Trace.
& # 39; Obviously a problem with Zante, Flights and Cardiff. Everything we feared. & # 39;
Another woman said: “I wasn't on board but my daughter told me on Friday that some students at Cardiff High School had Covid 19 when they returned from Greece. I took no notice of it as there was nothing about it on the news.
“There were at least two groups from this school – one was 18 years old and the other was 17 years old. My daughter was also told that there is a third group of children from other schools in Cardiff.
“All of the groups had been partying in Zante, Greece, and we were told that some of their parents caught it. I've heard more from local people than has appeared in the media. & # 39;
TUI defended itself against the claims and insisted that all passengers wear masks and adhere to the Covid protocols "for the duration of their flight".
A statement said: “The health and safety of passengers is always our priority and we are concerned to hear about Ms. Whitfield's allegations.
& # 39; Our crew is trained to the highest standards and in accordance with the guidelines of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
“Before the start of the journey and via PA announcements on the flight, passengers are informed that they must wear masks at all times and are not allowed to move in the cabin. Masks can only be removed when consuming food and drinks.
"A full investigation is currently underway as these concerns were not reported during the flight or prior to today."
Dr. Giri Shankar, Director of Public Health Wales said: “These passengers will be contacted shortly but will need to self-isolate at home as they can become infectious without developing symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should book a test immediately.
"Our research into a number of cases of coronavirus has shown that a lack of social distancing, particularly by a minority in the 20-30 age group, has led to the virus spreading to other groups of people."
Passengers on board a TUI flight from Zante to Cardiff have to self-isolate after seven people tested positive for coronavirus
Research by Public Health Wales has raised concerns that people in their twenties traveling overseas to destinations like Zante have a "lack of social distancing".
Dr. Shankar added that passengers would be contacted but would need to be quarantined at home in the meantime as they could become contagious even without symptoms.
No new Covid-19-related deaths were reported by the Wales health authority on Sunday, with 56 cases confirmed.
Today marks the third day in a row that neither Wales nor Northern Ireland have recorded Covid-19 deaths.
Dr. Shankar urged night owls who enjoy the weekend holiday to remember the importance of social distancing.
He added: "I appeal directly to young people, even if they feel they are not severely affected by Covid-19, if they test positive for it, if they pass it on to the elderly or the elderly." vulnerable family members, friends or co-workers could be extremely serious, even fatal. & # 39;
Earlier this week, shocking footage showed three workers in Hazmats suits picked up a passenger just before departure from a Ryanair flight after receiving text that said he had tested positive for coronavirus.
The passenger and his travel companion were removed from the plane a few minutes before take-off in London and taken to the airport's isolation area, where they were picked up by the health authorities.
Their seats and overhead cabins were then disinfected before the plane was allowed to fly to Pisa, Italy, an hour and 40 minutes behind schedule, according to Flight Radar.
The passenger, who was not named, violated coronavirus quarantine restrictions by leaving his home and boarding the flight.
Ryanair said in a statement that the passenger received a text message a few minutes before their departure that they had tested positive for Covid-19.
The spokesman said: "The passenger and his travel companion were immediately unloaded and taken to an isolation area at Stansted Airport, where they were assisted by the local health authorities.
& # 39; Since this passenger and his companion had fully complied with Ryanair health regulations, both of them wore masks at Stansted Airport at all times and sat on the plane for the very short period (less than 10 minutes) before departure.
“There was little risk of Covid-19 being transmitted to other passengers or crew members, as everyone also wore face masks at all times.
& # 39; The plane flew to Pisa after a 1 hour and 20 minute delay to allow the empty seats and overhead cabin bins to be sanitized to meet all UK Health Authority guidelines. Ryanair apologizes to all passengers for this short delay. "
Instructions on the NHS England website warn those with symptoms to stay home and avoid any travel.
The Department of Health's website states, “If you are given a coronavirus test because you have symptoms, you and everyone you live with must self-isolate until you get your result.
"This also applies to everyone in your support bubble (where someone who lives alone or only with their children can meet people from another household)."
It can take up to 72 hours to complete the tests to see if someone has coronavirus.
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