Public Health Wales confirmed the entire flight from Zante to Cardiff would be forced to self-isolate as at least seven passengers tested positive for the deadly coronavirus. Doctors have urged anyone with symptoms to get a test immediately.
The flight landed in Cardiff on August 25, according to Public Health Wales, which said everyone on board will now have to quarantine.
Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “Cardiff and Vale Test Trace Protect and Public Health Wales have identified at least seven confirmed cases of Covid-19 from three different parties who were infectious on TUI flight 6215 from Zante to Cardiff on 25 August.
“As a result we are advising that all passengers on this flight are considered close contacts and must self-isolate.
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“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.”
Dr Shankar argued the investigation by Public Health Wales “indicated that a lack of social distancing, in particular by a minority of the 20 to 30-year age group, has results in the spread of the virus to other groups of people”.
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.”
Dr Shankar urged the public to remember the virus has not gone away and issued a reminder to follow safety procedures.
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He said: “It remains the responsibility of everyone to help prevent the spread of this virus – that is by self-isolating when asked to do so, staying two metres away from others, and by washing hands regularly.
“Particularly over this bank holiday weekend, we are also issuing a reminder to everyone of the importance of social distancing to keep everyone in Wales safe.”
On Friday, the FCO explained that restrictions have tightened further on the island of Zante – also known as Zakynthos.
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“Local restrictions are in place on the islands of Paros, Antiparos and Zante/Zakynthos,” stated the Foreign Office.
“These include: Suspension of any kind of live events and celebrations such as parties, trade fairs, religious ceremonies, open markets etc.
“Prohibition of operation of all food/catering sector-related shops, services and facilities from midnight to 7am the next day.
“A ban on gatherings of more than nine people, either indoors or outdoors.
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“A limit of four people per table in any restaurant, except for cases where the party consists of family members, where the limit is six people.
“Mandatory use of face masks in indoor and outdoor public spaces.”
The FCO continued: “Greek authorities are likely to impose additional local coronavirus-related restrictions in certain areas, if they perceive a heightened case-rate or other valid reason, in relation to that area.
“You should monitor the situation regularly via media and other information sources, including your accommodation or travel provider.”
The Greek island is not on UK quarantine list
There is currently a nationwide limit of 50 people on the number that can gather for public and social events in Greece, except those to which special rules apply, such as restaurants, theatres, cinemas.
Face masks are obligatory in public indoor spaces.
The Greek Island is not currently subject to the UK’s quarantine rules.
However, on Wednesday at least 11 people tested positive for the virus after flying back to Plymouth.
There is a ban on more than nine people
According to Plymouth City Council, those who tested positive displayed no or only minor symptoms such as a sore throat.
“This deadly disease spreads,” Director for Public Health Ruth Harrell said.
“We know that some of these young people had no symptoms, and so carried on as normal, including a night out in Plymouth’s bars and restaurants, until they became aware of the risk.
“That means more people could be infected. While young people might have fairly mild symptoms, and sometimes none that you would notice, our big concern is that we know it can be very serious for people who have existing health problems or are older.
“They need to help us to protect the city.”