31 August 2020 10:34
Passengers who were on a flight from Zante on the Greek island of Zakynthos to Cardiff in Wales last week have been told to isolate after it was identified as the source of at least seven confirmed coronavirus cases, Public Health Wales said on Sunday. Greece, which is not on the list of countries under British quarantine rules, is a popular holiday destination and more tourists are expected to have visited this year after several other favourites, such as Spain, were put under restrictions. "Cardiff and Vale Test Trace Protect and Public Health Wales have identified at least seven confirmed cases of Covid-19 from three different parties who were infectious on TUI Flight 6215 from Zante to Cardiff on 25 August," said Giri Shankar, incident director for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales. "As a result, we are advising that all passengers on this flight are considered close contacts and must self-isolate," he said in a statement. Shankar added that investigations had found that the virus had spread to other groups of people because of "a lack of social distancing, in particular by a minority of the 20-30 year age group." After a stringent lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Britain is easing restrictions to try to boost the economy, but its four nations – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – have made changes at different speeds.
A TUI flight from Zante where everyone on board was told to self-isolate after 16 coronavirus cases on the jet was "full of covidiots", a passenger has said. Public Health Wales said the infections were from three parties on the flight that arrived in Cardiff from the Greek island last Tuesday. ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates 5 Everyone on board the TUI flight from Zante to Cardiff on August 25 has been told to self-isolate 5 Wales' health director blamed young people on holiday in Zante for not social distancing All 193 passengers and crew who were on board the flight have been told to self-isolate for a fortnight. Passenger Stephanie Whitfield complained people were not wearing their face masks properly on the flight. She told the BBC: "The flight was a debacle.
Tui insisted all the passengers had complied with Covid-19 protocols, including wearing face masks. They said their aircraft had a "state-of-the-art, hospital standard air filtering system", were deep-cleaned after every flight and "fully disinfected at least once every 24 hours" in accordance with European Union Aviation Safety Agency guidelines. A spokesperson added: "The safety and well-being of passengers and crew is our highest priority and we operate in line with EASA guidelines." Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: "We are advising that all passengers on this flight are considered close contacts and must self-isolate. "These passengers will be contacted shortly but, meanwhile, they must self-isolate at home as they may become infectious even without developing symptoms. He said since they began alerting passengers, the number of confirmed cases has risen from seven to 16, but it was unclear where they had contracted the virus. He added investigations have indicated there has been a lack of social distancing by a minority of the 20 to 30-year age group which has resulted in the spread of the virus to other groups. Greece is among the countries being considered for the Government's 14-day quarantine list after a spike in the number of positive cases. Most read in News TODDLE OFF Pub owner's brutal response to customer who complained after 'spending £700' Latest PLANE DRAMA Two arrested under terrorism act after 'suspicious object found in jet toilet' Exclusive AID AXE Chancellor set to axe foreign aid to help foot UK's Covid bill in November Budget NO CRIME Dodging TV licence could be decriminalised next month in wake of Proms row miaowzers! It comes after France, Spain and Malta were all added to the list in recent weeks. One more person yesterday died in the UK after testing positive for the virus - the lowest since the first death in early March. This brings the total number of deaths in Britain to 41,499. The number of new coronavirus cases overnight rose by 1,715 - the highest daily figure since June 4. 5 Everyone who travelled on the Tui flight 6215, which arrived in Cardiff on August 25, has been told to self-isolate EVERY passenger on board a flight from Zante to Cardiff has been told to self-isolate after at least seven people tested positive for coronavirus. A statement from Public Health Wales said the cases came from three different parties who were infectious on TUI flight 6215 from Zante to Cardiff on August 25. Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the Covid-19 outbreak said: "Cardiff and Vale Test Trace Protect and Public Health Wales have identified at least seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 from three different parties who were infectious on TUI Flight 6215 from Zante to Cardiff on 25 August. As a result, we are advising that all passengers on this flight are considered close contacts and must self-isolate. "These passengers will be contacted shortly, but meanwhile, they must self-isolate at home as they may become infectious, even without developing symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should book a test without delay. "Our investigations into a number of cases of Coronavirus have indicated that a lack of social distancing, in particular by a minority of the 20-30 year age group, has resulted in the spread of the virus to other groups of people. "I would make a direct appeal to young people to remember that even if they feel that they would not be badly affected by COVID-19 if they were to test positive for it, if they were to pass it on to older or more vulnerable family members, friends or colleagues it could be extremely serious, even fatal. Dr Shankar said despite the lower infection rates in Wales the virus has not gone away. "It remains the responsibility of everyone to help prevent the spread of this virus," he said. He added: "Public Health Wales reminds the public that if you have recently travelled outside the UK there may be restrictions on your return. Advice on travelling abroad, including the latest information on quarantine requirements on returning home, can be found on the Welsh Government and FCO websites." Spencer Birns, interim CEO of Cardiff Airport, said: "We continue to work closely with all of our airline partners to facilitate passenger travel throughout this challenging time for the industry. TUI is taking every necessary measure following today's report. "Cardiff Airport is closely following guidelines set out by Public Health Wales, FCO, and UK Government and has already taken a number of measures to ensure the safety and security of our team and customers, which is our number one priority."