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British Airways Tells Cabin Crew Who Worked With Colleagues Confirmed to Have Covid-19 to Return to Work

British Airways Tells Cabin Crew Who Worked With Colleagues Confirmed to Have Covid-19 to Return to Work

British Airways has allegedly told a group of cabin crew who worked together with three pilots and another member of cabin crew who have all tested positive for Covid-19 to return to work and not bother self-quarantining. The airline, however, has said it is simply following government advice which advises people only to go into isolation if they develop symptoms of the Coronavirus.

The group of four crew who tested positive worked together with 14 other flight attendants on a trip to Dubai last week. Before the United Arab Emirates (UAE) enforced a total ban on all passenger flights last night, all crew members entering the country were subject to mandatory Covid-19 testing.

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Photo Credit: British Airways

The British Airways crew had already left Dubai before the results came back 48-hours later, however, health authorities in the UAE made contact with the airline to pass on the test results. But rather than carrying out extensive contact tracing and telling the crew to isolate, airline managers apparently told them they were free to return to work.

One anonymous crew member is said to have visited his vulnerable 93-year old grandmother by the time the test results were passed on according to sources quoted in The Sun.

“It means we have a live case of coronavirus that BA does not appear concerned about. Passengers and staff are at risk,” the source told the tabloid newspaper. “The crew were due to work on other flights knowing staff could all be infected and passing on coronavirus,” the unnamed source continued.

The Unite union, which is currently negotiating with British Airways on ways to prevent mass redundancies as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, is said to have raised concerns at the highest levels of the airline.

“This is a very serious matter,” a statement from the union said of the incident. “It is vital that British Airways ensures that the entire crew immediately self-isolates and are paid in full during this time,” a statement continued.

“The passengers on both the inbound and outbound flight must all be immediately informed about the positive coronavirus test.”

Yet a spokesperson for British Airways said the airline was simply following official advice from Public Health England. The BA rep claimed the the “safety and welfare of our customers and crew” was a priority for the airline.

Yesterday, British Airways announced sweeping changes to its in-flight service in order to limit contact between cabin crew and passengers and to prevent contamination that could pass on Covid-19. In-flight meals have been stripped back, alcohol is no longer offered and only plastic cups and utensils are offered in all cabins.

Several other airlines have faced criticism for failing to inform their staff after a colleague has been confirmed to have Covid-19. Recent research claims flight attendants are one of the most at-risk groups of being infected with the deadly Coronavirus.

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