The last thing passengers aboard a Ryanair plane wanted to see before departure were three hazmat-clad officials walking down the aisle.
But that’s exactly how their flight from London to Pisa in Italy began Wednesday after a traveler received a text message informing him that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, The Sun reported.
The heavily protected workers remove the infected passenger and his pal off the plane a few minutes before it was due to take off from Stansted Airport, according to the outlet.
Two hours after flight attendants disinfected the two passengers’ seats and the overhead bins, the flight finally departed.
Footage shot by a horrified passenger showed the three people in protective gear approaching the stricken man as a crew member was heard informing everyone about a case of “COVID-19 on board.”
“There is no need for self-isolation, OK, when we arrive in Pisa because the government doesn’t require self-isolation from the UK and no test. OK,” the Ryanair employee is heard saying. “This is for now the information that we have.”
People in hazmat suit board a Ryanair flight allegedly to remove a COVID-infected patientTwitter
The captain also is heard saying the infected person was notified of his diagnosis from British authorities.
“The airport were made aware of the passenger by the airline and our fire service attended the aircraft and escorted the passenger (and travel partner) to an isolation area where they were put in contact with Public Health England, who then oversaw the passenger’s onward journey,” an airport spokesman told The Sun.
It was unclear if the passenger had any symptoms, but if he received the text message before boarding, he would had broken quarantine rules, the outlet reported.
“A passenger who boarded a flight from London Stansted to Pisa on August 26, received a text message notification before departure that he had tested positive for COVID-19,” a Ryanair rep told The Sun.
“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,” the spokesman said.
“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,” he added.
“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.”