Coronavirus Heathrow scare: Are flights going to be cancelled?

A flight was detained at Heathrow Airport earlier this morning after a passenger on board was feared to be showing symptoms of coronavirus. The American Airlines flight had flown into terminal two from San Francisco.


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Passengers onboard the aircraft took to Twitter to post about the incident, saying they were not being allowed to disembark.

Meanwhile, a Heathrow Airport spokesperson told that while they could not comment on the incident, Public Health England was on the ground dealing with the situation.

With half-term holidays impending for many Britons, will the detained flight cause chaos to other expected departures?

At the time of writing, no other flights are affected by this incident.

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The Heathrow Airport spokesperson also said that the airport was “operationally fine.”

Public health England also said they could not give a statement on the situation at this time.

According to passenger reports, the traveller who was suspected to be carrying the virus was isolated at the back of the plane.

One person wrote on Twitter: “Just landed at Heathrow T2 and captain has announced that someone on the plane has suspected #coronavirus.

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“Noone allowed to leave the plane! waiting for doctor confirmation expected either way. Person isolated at the back of the plane.” (SIC)

A second person said: “United flight 901 from San Francisco being held on apron at Heathrow with a suspected case of coronavirus onboard.

“We’re being held on the plane as there are seven other flights with suspected cases on board.”

Passengers have since been allowed to leave the plane.


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“We’ve been asked to fill in a form that’s all.

“No people in chem suits have boarded! We’re about to deplane so I guess it’s all ok,” the Twitter user followed up.

The news comes as the Coronavirus infection level rises beyond 64,000.

The illness has been detected in 28 countries worldwide.

The World Health Organisation recently issued ways to protect yourself against the virus while travelling.

Dr Carmen Dolea, Head, IHR Secretariat at the World Health Organisation said that if people have to travel they should not avoid doing so, but should practise “proper hand hygiene”

“If you have to travel you have to go to the airport,” she said.

“If you want to reduce your risk of being infected it’s true that staying away from people which may be suspected cases may help you to reduce your risk.”

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) backs this up, adding: “Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.”

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