British airline Easyjet has warned passengers there is a “very low” risk of coronavirus infection after discovering one customer has since been diagnosed with the illness.
Public Health England is now notifying all passengers on the Easyjet EZS8481 flight from Geneva to London on 28 January that they are at risk of infection.
It comes as the number of UK coronavirus cases doubled from four to eight over the weekend. Today the government warned the virus is a “serious and imminent” threat to UK public health.
An Easyjet spokesperson said the risk to passengers was “very low” because the infected traveller was not exhibiting symptoms during the flight.
Easyjet’s flight crew self-isolated for two weeks and none are displaying symptoms, the airline said.
The spokesperson said:
Easyjet has been notified by the public health authority that a customer who had recently travelled on one of its flights has since been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Public Health England is contacting all passengers who were seated in the vicinity of the customer on flight EZS8481 from Geneva to London Gatwick on 28 January to provide guidance in line with procedures.
As the customer was not experiencing any symptoms, the risk to others on board the flight is very low.
We remain in contact with the public health authorities and are following their guidance.
The health and well-being of our passengers and crew is the airline’s highest priority.
All of the crew who operated have been advised to monitor themselves for a 14-day period since the flight in line with Public Health England advice. Note this happened 12 days ago and none are displaying any symptoms.
The government’s decision to upgrade its health warning on coronavirus gives it extra powers to deal with the disease.
It has classified Arrowe Park Hospital, in the Wirral, an “isolation” area. The hospital is where Brits evacuated from China’s coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan were taken for a two-week quarantine. And the government has designated Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province an “infected area”.
The coronavirus death toll now stands at 910, making it worse than the 2003 Sars outbreak.
Easyjet’s UK peers, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have suspended flights to mainland China while the coronavirus crisis continues.