BREAKING NEWS – A passenger on a flight from Madrid was intercepted by Guardia Civil when he landed in Lanzarote at lunchtime today. The passenger had tested positive for Coronavirus in Madrid after coming into contact with an infected person. The man was in Madrid attend his mother’s funeral and was tested at the time. He chose to fly back to Lanzarote before the results of the test came through. The hospital alerted the police mid-flight when his result tested positive. He will now be charged with not complying with an order to remain in self-isolation until his test result was known. The infected man and the passengers in his immediate vicinity have been taken to a hotel now set up as an isolation area and they will remain in isolation there.
The remaining 130 passengers were given the choice of returning to their homes on Lanzarote, or to self isolate in the hotel. Following their decision, they were all escorted by the Red Cross. In any case they are ALL now required to self isolate for 14 days. All passengers will all receive a PCR test in 7 day’s time.
So the irresponsible and selfish behaviour of one person has now ruined holidays for everyone on the flight. It is hard to fathom this behaviour. Lanzarote Tourism and the Spanish Tourist office have been carrying out stellar work to bring tourism back to the island and they must be furious at these events.
We now have to face the reality of this situation and ensure that all passengers must be tested before flying anywhere. What’s to say that this awful situation will not continue to occur all over the world. The passengers today were left completely at the mercy of one person’s incredibly irresponsible behaviour.
This unfortunate incident will do nothing to restore the already wavering passenger confidence when flying. Does the passenger beside you have Corona Virus? The only solution to this is mandatory testing of all passengers. Greece, Iceland and other forward thinking countries are successfully doing this with a 24 hour testing regime. This incident today is a GAME CHANGER and, I’m sorry to say a huge set-back. We need to bite the bullet here in Ireland and implement mandatory testing for all passengers. Flying is stressful enough without the constant worry that you are sitting beside Covid-19 infected passengers. I don’t wish to be alarmist but it could be argued that this will result in untold inflight rage and panic attacks. Passengers need to be 100% assured that they are flying on Covid-19 free flights if confidence is to return to the skies. The 140 passengers with their holidays in tatters and now self isolating in Lanzarote for the next fourteen days are testament to this.