Holidaymakers were left gripping their seats in horror last night as hazmat-clad officials rushed onto a Ryanair plane as it say at London Stansted and removed a passenger after he received a text saying he had tested positive for coronavirus.
The passenger and his travel companion were taken off the plane minutes before it was due to take-off from London and moved to the airport’s isolation area, where they were met by health authorities.
Their seats and the overhead cabin bins were then disinfected before the plane was allowed to fly to Pisa in Italy one hour and 40 minutes behind schedule, according to Flight Radar.
The passenger, who has not been named, breached coronavirus quarantine restrictions by leaving their home and boarding the flight.
Ryanair said in a statement that the passenger received a text message minutes before his departure that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
The spokesman said: The passenger and his travel companion were immediately offloaded and taken to a Stansted Airport isolation area where they were assisted by local public health authorities.
Since this passenger and his companion had complied fully 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 seated on the aircraft prior to departure.
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“There was little if any risk of Covid-19 transmission to other passengers or crew members as all of whom were also wearing face masks at all times.
“The aircraft departed for Pisa following a delay of 1 hour and 20 mins to allow for the empty seats and overhead cabin bins to be disinfected to comply with all UK health authority guidance. Ryanair apologises to all passengers for this short delay.”
Shocking video shows three officials dressed head-to-toe in protective gear approaching the individual on the plane as a crew member tried to keep passengers in their seats.
The shocking revelation could throw the carefully-crafted air bridges scheme into turmoil, where people are allowed to travel between certain countries without having to self-isolate.
Instructions on NHS England’s website warn those with symptoms to stay at home and avoid all travel.
Instructions on the Department of Health website read: ‘If you are getting a coronavirus test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must self-isolate until you get your result.
“This also applies to anyone in your support bubble (where someone who lives alone – or just with their children – can meet people from one other household).”
It can take up to 72 hours for tests to be completed to show whether someone has coronavirus.
A passenger onboard the plane posted a picture of themselves wearing a facemask with the caption: “The face when you are about to take off and someone gets a text from track and trace.”
They added that police came onto the plane and claimed the individual was tested for coronavirus.