Flights from coronavirus hotspots continue to land in Britain – with passengers not checked
FLIGHTS from Coronavirus hot spots were still landing in Britain on Monday with thousands of passengers not being checked for symptoms.
Planes from Italy, America and Spain all touched down at Heathrow yesterday morning with passengers simply walking through arrivals and onto public transport.
Although many had masks there were queues at arrivals and departures and there appeared to be barely any social distancing between travellers.
One traveller posted an alarming video on Twitter showing dozens of passengers queuing up at check-in with no social distancing.
He wrote:”Unfortunately the penny has not dropped. While millions of people are in lockdown to help our brave NHS this is what is going on at London Heathrow. Someone needs to get a grip.”
Around 12,000 passengers passed through Heathrow yesterday and althought this was way down on the usual 213,000 a day and landings and takes off were down to one every fifteen minutes – as opposed to one every 45 seconds it still meant regular traffice all day.
While other countries are enforcing arrivals to go into quarantine, Britain is simply requesting those from abroad to follow self-isolation guidelines.
‘NO EXTRA RESTRICTIONS’
There are no extra restrictions stopping people who could have travelled from the most infected cities in the world from getting on the Tube, trains or buses.
In China, where the coronavirus originated, all airline passengers from abroad are in enforced quarantine, and foreigners have been banned from midnight on Friday.
Yesterday among the flights that landed was one from Newark just a short drive from New York city which has seen 60,000 cases while another landed from Madrid – the coronavirus capital of Spain.
A Brit passenger who was on the BA flight that landed just after 1pm walked through with a mask and told The Sun: ”There must have been around 50 people on the flight which was a lot more than I was expecting to see.
”All the crew had masks and gloves on and some of the passengers had masks or scarves over their faces but other than that there were no checks on board or anything like that.
”We were just asked to try and keep apart as much as possible from each other and to self isolate when we got home as we had come back from a high risk area.
”When I landed at Madrid last week I had my temperature checked when I landed there but there was nothing of the sort at Heathrow when I landed.”
Another traveller told The Sun: ”I was gobsmacked there were no checks when we landed. We were just told to go home and self isolate if we showed any symptoms but I’m now getting on the tube and could infect dozens if I have it.”
Throughout the terminals at Heathrow a tannoy message chimed out every few minutes asking travellers to keep apart and also make use of 600 hand sanitisers dotted throughout.
A Heathrow Airport spokesperson said:’“Our teams are doing their best to support passengers and provide the space and facilities for social distancing during this difficult time. We have implemented signage across all terminals to remind passengers of the government’s recommendation to social distance themselves more than 2 metres from others.
”Our colleagues are also on hand to help manage the queues and provide more space where possible. We ask all passengers to continue to follow government advice as best they can while we work to get you home as quickly and as safely as possible.”
‘NO TEMPERATURE CHECKS’
While a message on Heathrow’s website read:”You may be used to seeing temperature checks at airports around the world, as some of our partner airports operate checks year-round regardless of outbreaks of illnesses. It may be the case that you have just landed at Heathrow from an airport that checked your temperature before you boarded your plane.
There are currently no temperature checks at Heathrow for arriving flights, so you should not expect to see them when you land.
This is not a measure that Heathrow decided itself; we would like to reassure you that Heathrow is following the guidance and advice of Public Health England (PHE) on which measures are required to contain and respond to Coronavirus effectively.”