BA cabin crew contract coronavirus on long haul flights

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  • Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    A BBC article this morning

    BA cabin crew contract virus on long-haul flights

    Detailed article about the problems – seems that there’s as much chance of catching it from other crew than the passengers.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    The article below could be shown on any number of threads. Out of respect to the courageous work BA cabin crew are undertaking, putting their own health at risk, I felt this thread was most appropriate

    Once again, I preempt this post with the fact I know people are trying to get home and repatriation is a delicate subject.

    We are all being asked to social distance, yet nobody seems to take notice of what, how or who is entering the country, in terms of health. Admittedly, arriving passengers numbers are well down. I am not a medic, but can not understand why the lockdown, social distancing, does not apply to UK arriving passengers and the airports.

    Article was sourced from The Times, 3rd April 2020

    Attachments:
    4 users thanked author for this post.

    nevereconomy
    Participant

    Of course there is no way to be sure where a cabin crew member caught coronavirus. There is no doubt that the repatriation flights must take place and I don’t think we have the medically qualified people to spare to make sure they are completely safe and accepted social distancing is impossible. The solution would seem to be quarantine the passengers and crew when they return – but is that at all feasible for the numbers involved. You can ask them to self-isolate for 14 days, but will they do it ? Right now I think there are not even temperature checks at UK airports for arrivals – am I correct ?

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Right now I think there are not even temperature checks at UK airports for arrivals – am I correct ?

    I can report from a close friend that the security teams looking after Heathrow are equally frustrated with daily arrivals from the hotpsots (New York/USA, Rome and Madrid) and the total lack of any physical checking of arriving passengers. This has resulted in a number of CV19 cases within the Heathrow security teams.

    The 200 UK passengers caught on board the Zaandam (arrived back in the UK yesterday) – walked straight through Heathrow, no checks and the ship was confirmed as having a virus outbreak.

    (would prefer not to identify the security team/department involved at Heathrow)

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AnthonyDunn
    Participant

    Interesting Martyn and, frankly, astonishing. Those of us who have been in and out of Hong Kong and some other Asian centres over the past decade will be well used to having our temperature checked as a matter of course. Public Health England (yes, that lot again) appears firmly wedded to the view that health-checking/temperature checking upon the point of arrival is ineffective. Which makes me ask: just what is it that they know but the public health authorities in ROK, HK, Taiwan and Singapore don’t? And which has been the most successful in combating SARS-CoV2 (Covid-19)??

    It makes me wonder why, back at the time of the first Gulf War, I returned from Cairo with a dose of Shigella (bacterial dysentery) and was then chased around London to confirm that I was not working in food preparation (just in the business of death – MODUK at that point in time).

    Some of the decisions that have been taken genuinely do have me – and quite a few others – scratching our heads in order to try and discern the rationale behind them. In the meantime, all I can do is pass on an extremely interesting and very well researched/sourced article from Reuters which probably counts as the first draft of history at this point:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-britain-path-speci/special-report-johnson-listened-to-his-scientists-about-coronavirus-but-they-were-slow-to-sound-the-alarm-idUSKBN21P1VF

    We are now five weeks into our quarantine and the garden has never looked better manicured, trimmed, trained – and it’s going to be a very, very bad year for garden weeds. Stay safe everyone.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I would have thought it would have been better to have quarantined those flying before they boarded the repatriation flights. At least that way it would be known if they had the virus or not?

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    The 200 UK passengers caught on board the Zaandam (arrived back in the UK yesterday) – walked straight through Heathrow, no checks and the ship was confirmed as having a virus outbreak.

    I’m curious what you would have done here Martyn.

    The 214 passengers were all screened and cleared by paramedics before boarding the flight which was a repatriation flight organised to bring UK nationals home.

    Are you saying you would have forced passengers to remain onboard indefinitely?


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I’m curious what you would have done here Martyn.

    I am not medically trained to even suggest what checking needs to be done – but to allow passengers arriving from a factually know virus epi centre to simply arrive into T5 and walk straight through, especially after a long haul flight, gives the appearance of ‘light touch’ and is not ‘in the spirit’ of the lockdown rules. Also consider the number of airport workers workers (especially security) who are off work sick.

    I am also curious why there is a need for up to 15 PASSENGER flights from the USA, DAILY. As I have constantly stated, I know repatriation flights are a sensitive subject, but I would have thought ‘lockdown’ would also include airports and ports.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I’m curious what you would have done here Martyn.

    I am not medically trained to even suggest what checking needs to be done – but to allow passengers arriving from a factually know virus epi centre to simply arrive into T5 and walk straight through, especially after a long haul flight, gives the appearance of ‘light touch’ and is not ‘in the spirit’ of the lockdown rules. Also consider the number of airport workers workers (especially security) who are off work sick.

    I am also curious why there is a need for up to 15 PASSENGER flights from the USA, DAILY. As I have constantly stated, I know repatriation flights are a sensitive subject, but I would have thought ‘lockdown’ would also include airports and ports.

    There were 9 scheduled flights from USA yesterday and 9 again today.

    I suppose what this highlighting is that sometimes it’s a question of the least bad option when the options were either repatriating 214 Britons or abandoning them indefinitely on board a vessel with limited medical facilities. It is easy to be critical, but as we are finding here it is less easy to come up with a viable alternative that hasn’t already been considered.

    Plus what might seem as a lighter touch approach is not necessarily so – passengers were screened on departure from the US, and I believe Heathrow has taken advice from Public Health England that temperature checks on arrival have no real impact in protecting the public since the passenger may not be displaying symptoms at the time the check was made.

    By the way the Zaandam passengers that you refer to flew back from Fort Lauderdale, to suggest that is an epi-centre seems a slight exaggeration?


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    There were 9 scheduled flights from USA yesterday and 9 again today.

    We clearly use different tracking software, New York has 5 to 6 daily flights, Chicago 2, LAX up to 3, Washington 2, Phili 1, Miami 2 (that’s between BA, VS UA and AA).

    Yes my post drifted a little from your original question, but New York is an epi centre. Not to mention Madrid and Rome where flights have been arriving for the past 3 weeks, daily.

    I find the airport situation strange. I am quoting the NHS website which says you should not leave home if you have EITHER (not both) a cough or a high temperature

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms-and-what-to-do/

    When people cant sit on the grass in a park, but are able to freely cross the Atlantic in a metal tube – just doesn’t seem right…

    For the record, I support a far more restricted lock down to protect the NHS and the UK.


    canucklad
    Participant

    I’d have thought that BA, as a responsible employer would have implemented a due diligence process to reduce the risk to all their employees
    Insisting that each passenger heading home on a repatriation flight, especially if their travelling from an epicentre like New York provide documentation on their health status.

    I’d still be expecting our airports , or more specifically the UK Border authorities to invest in temperature check machines like they have at HKG, that way you’re checked leaving and 8 or so hours later checked arriving .


    SimonS1
    Participant

    There were 9 scheduled flights from USA yesterday and 9 again today.

    We clearly use different tracking software, New York has 5 to 6 daily flights, Chicago 2, LAX up to 3, Washington 2, Phili 1, Miami 2 (that’s between BA, VS UA and AA).

    Yes my post drifted a little from your original question, but New York is an epi centre. Not to mention Madrid and Rome where flights have been arriving for the past 3 weeks, daily.

    I find the airport situation strange. I am quoting the NHS website which says you should not leave home if you have EITHER (not both) a cough or a high temperature

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms-and-what-to-do/

    When people cant sit on the grass in a park, but are able to freely cross the Atlantic in a metal tube – just doesn’t seem right…

    For the record, I support a far more restricted lock down to protect the NHS and the UK.

    But I specifically asked what you would have done about the 214 Brits returning from the Zaandam who you were unhappy had been able to walk out of Heathrow.

    They were all flying from a non-epicentre, screened before departure in FL and went straight from boat to plane (not even through the airport terminal).

    I counted the scheduled arrivals on the LHR website. There are indeed a few more listed but several are codeshares/duplicates.


    DavidGrodentz
    Participant

    As a UK National, but living in HK for 15 years with PR, I just thought I would share a comparison between the lockdown approach versus the airport approach for the two countries

    In the UK, a much tougher lockdown is in place but there appears to be free movement for arrivals into UK airports

    In HK, our lockdown is much less severe, groups of 4 allowed outside, practice social distancing, no bans on going out, pubs, gyms, cinemas closed. But, restaurants open with wider spacing of tables, all shops are open, bus, trains and trams running, vast majority of people wearing masks, hand sanitiser everywhere.

    But, at HKG, non residents not allowed in, all arrivals from UK, Europe and US taken to Asiaworld Expo for mandatory COVID 19 swab test. For UK arrivals, have to stay there until results are known. Recently, this has been extended to the US and Europe as well. Then, home quarantine for 14 days

    There have been mistakes here, we had a second wave here already, with lax controls allowing residents and non residents to return from hotspots overseas, and 4 days notice given before quarantine restrictions imposed. Cases jumped from around 150 to just over a thousand in 3 weeks. Appears to have plateaued again with the new restrictions in place

    Cases in HK are 1012 and 4 deaths, and it has been here for nearly 3 months

    There are different approaches but I know which one I prefer

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    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Swiss are also flying a daily flight between Zurich and Newark. I’ve no idea if either the Americans or the Swiss are testing arriving passengers. Does anyone know?


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    But I specifically asked what you would have done about the 214 Brits returning from the Zaandam who you were unhappy had been able to walk out of Heathrow.

    SimonS1 – In all honesty I have no idea what i would have done and am definitely not qualified do so.

    Here we are in the midst of a lock down, with our boys in blue chasing motorists off the motorways, handing out fines to those who ignore the lock down, citizens are not allowed to sit on the grass in parks, social distancing etc etc (all of which I support), the medics and experts trying their hardest to ensure we all understand the rules and why they are being enforced. Yet, the front door of the UK, remains open with passengers (in sufficiently worrying numbers) still arriving at Heathrow and simply exiting landside to get into taxis or being met by relatives and disperse to whichever part of the UK they wish.

    Maybe its just a case of Martyn Sinclair doesn’t understand why this is deemed as low risk or no risk. I would happily be educated by anyone wishing to do so…

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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