Furious passenger on TUI plane from Zante that had SIXTEEN positive covid cases claims 'inept' crew did nothing as flyers took off masks and walked along aisles to talk to each other

A furious holidaymaker on board a 193-passenger TUI flight from Zante to Cardiff has hit out at the airline after they were told they all have to self-isolate following 16 positive coronavirus tests.   
Passengers who were on TUI flight 6215 on Tuesday are being considered as 'close contacts' of those who tested positive for COVID-19, forcing them all to quarantine for two weeks. 
Seven of the passengers on the flight tested positive at the time of the journey, and a further nine since, taking the total to 16.
However, one passenger has now hit out at TUI and claimed that the 'inept' crew did nothing to ensure social distancing was maintained on the flight. 
The furious flyer said she saw fellow passengers take off masks and freely mix 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 chap next to me had his mask around his neck. Not only did the airline not pull him up on it, they gave him a free drink when he said he knew a member of the crew.
'Loads of people were taking their masks off and wandering up and down the aisles to talk to others.
'As soon as the flight landed, a load of people took their masks off immediately. The flight was full of selfish 'covidiots' and an inept crew who couldn't care less.' 
However, another passenger, Danielle Loughman, defended TUI and told MailOnline that cabin crew repeatedly stressed the importance of wearing masks and fellow passengers had done their best to maintain social distancing. 
She added that Mrs Whitfield's complaints had surprised her and 'it was like we were on different flights'. 
There are 16 cases of Covid-19 linked to people who took Tui flight 6215 to Cardiff on August 25, according to Dr Gwen Lowe, consultant in communicable disease control for Public Health Wales, including the seven who had it on the flight.
She said there have been about 30 cases in Wales in the last week that have come back from Zante, confirmed in people who were on different flights and staying in different locations.
Stephanie Whitfield, 39, had been travelling with her husband on the flight from Zante to Cardiff when she spotted fellow passengers walking around with no mask
Stephanie Whitfield, 39, had been travelling with her husband on the flight from Zante to Cardiff when she spotted fellow passengers walking around with no mask
She hit out at TUI and claimed that the 'inept' crew did nothing to ensure social distancing was maintained on the flight
She hit out at TUI and claimed that the 'inept' crew did nothing to ensure social distancing was maintained on the flight

Mrs Whitfield said she and her husband had decided to isolate before learning about the positive cases and revealed that they have some symptoms of the virus. 
She added she was 'more angry' than anything else.
Ms Loughman refuted her claims and said: 'I was on the flight mentioned above near the back of the plane and have family that were at the front of the plane and neither of us had any issues with people not wearing masks. 
'The cabin crew repeated several Times throughout the flight that if anyone felt unwell or had Covid like symptoms to report them to the cabin crew as soon as possible. 
'We were told to not queue for the toilet which was adhered too and didn’t see anyone chatting in the aisles (if they had I would have complained). 
'Whilst I cannot comment about everyone wearing their masks (I was near back so couldn’t see everyone) there was definitely not a mad rush to take them off and everyone still had them on as we went through customs as we all had to lower our masks when checking our passports. 
'Yes the flight was full but Tui did all they could to advise people of the safety measures in place. 
'We are now all self isolating as requested by track and trace. I would never normally email about a story like this but after reading what one passenger has said I cannot believe it. It’s like we were on different flights.' 
It comes as Dr Lowe confirmed the coronavirus outbreak on the flight and admitted there were several cases in Wales linked to Zante. 
Dr Lowe told Today: 'In the last week we've had about 30 cases in Wales that have come back from Zante.
'Different flights on different days staying in different locations.
'These are confirmed positive cases and we're expecting that number to rise.' 
Passengers on board a TUI flight from Zante to Cardiff all have to self-isolate after seven tested positive for coronavirus
Passengers on board a TUI flight from Zante to Cardiff all have to self-isolate after seven tested positive for coronavirus 
She said officials are in the process of reaching all 193 people on the Tui flight.
Dr Lowe said it is 'very obvious' from the work carried out in Wales that the majority of people do not catch 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 work buddies, their family, and their friends,' she said.
Asked about whether airlines should be more proactive about telling people to wear masks, Dr Lowe said wearing face coverings 'may help' but pointed out that they are an 'informal measure', adding that it is difficult for airlines to police.
'If somebody is determined not to wear a mask, people often don't know how to wear masks properly, they touch them a lot, they wear them below their nose, they take them off to eat.
'And if you've got Covid symptoms, that will spread Covid symptoms quite rapidly through a confined space such as aircraft,' she said.
Phillipa Clarke told Mail Online: 'My daughter and 2 friends flew into Birmingham airport from Zante at midnight on Friday. 
'She’s since heard on social media chat that of a group of 11 Cardiff lads they were friendly with, chatted in the evenings, same flights, transfer, hotel and pool, 3 have tested positive, so she’s currently isolating. I’ll be interested to see if/when we hear from Track & Trace. 
'Clearly an issue with Zante, flights and Cardiff. Everything we feared.'
Another woman said: 'I was not on board but my daughter told me on Friday that a number of pupils from Cardiff High School had Covid 19 after returning from Greece. I took no notice of it as there was nothing on the news about it. 
Public Health Wales investigations have raised concerns that people in their 20s travelling abroad to destinations such as Zante, above, are showing a 'lack of social distancing'
Public Health Wales investigations have raised concerns that people in their 20s travelling abroad to destinations such as Zante, above, are showing a 'lack of social distancing' 
'There were at least two groups from this school - one were 18 year olds and the other 17 year olds. My daughter has also been told there was a third group from kids from other schools in Cardiff. 
'All groups had been partying out in Zante, Greece and we've been told that some of their parents have caught it. I've heard more from people locally than has appeared in the media.'
TUI has defended itself over the claims and insisted that all passengers wore masks and complied with 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 of Mrs Whitfield’s claims. 
'Our crew are trained to the highest standards and in line with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) guidelines. 
'Passengers are informed prior to travel and via PA announcements on the flight that they have to wear masks throughout and are not allowed to move around the cabin. Masks can only be removed when consuming food and drink. 
'A full investigation is now underway as these concerns weren’t reported during the flight or before today.'
Dr Giri Shankar, Public Health Wales director, said: '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.'
Dr Shankar added that passengers were being contacted but must quarantine at home in the meantime, as they could become infectious even without symptoms. 
No new deaths related to Covid-19 were reported by the public health body in Wales on Sunday, while it said 56 cases had been confirmed.
Today is the third consecutive day that neither Wales or Northern Ireland recorded any Covid-19 fatalities. 
Dr Shankar urged revellers enjoying the bank holiday weekend to remember the importance of social distancing.
He added: '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.' 
Earlier this week, shocking footage showed three workers in hazmats suits haul a passenger off a Ryanair flight, moments before it departed, 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.
'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'.
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.
Furious passenger on TUI plane from Zante that had SIXTEEN positive covid cases claims 'inept' crew did nothing as flyers took off masks and walked along aisles to talk to each other Furious passenger on TUI plane from Zante that had SIXTEEN positive covid cases claims 'inept' crew did nothing as flyers took off masks and walked along aisles to talk to each other Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:58 Rating: 5

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