British Airways has confirmed that two of its workers have tested positive for the COVID-19 Coronavirus. In an emailed statement, BA said the employees had been isolated at home and were recovering. News reports suggest the two workers were baggage handlers at Heathrow Airport in West London.
“Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that two members of our staff have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus,” the airline told us. “The colleagues have been isolated and are recovering at home.”
British Airways could not immediately say what condition the two workers in and did not confirm what jobs roles they had. Media sources claim the two men caught the virus from their wives who had both recently returned from Northern Italy.
According to the British government, as of 7 am on Friday 6 March, 163 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country and two people have died from the virus. Health workers have carried out over 20,000 Coronavirus tests. New cases leapt by 47 overnight into Friday.
Despite the perceived risks of flying, there have been incredibly few aviation workers infected with the virus. The first known case was a South Korean flight attendant for Korean Air back in February.
A 47-year old male cabin crew member for Singapore Airlines has also been diagnosed with Coronavirus in newly released figured from the Singaporean government. The crew member had recently travelled to South Africa and France but authorities stressed that he had not been at work since the onset of symptoms.
Health authorities, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), say the risk of catching the virus as either a passenger or airline employee remains low and the WHO has actually discouraged countries from imposing travel restrictions.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.