THIS is the dramatic moment a passenger was dragged off a Ryanair flight by hazmat-clad officials after receiving a text telling him he had tested positive for coronavirus moments before departure.
The passenger and his friend were taken off the plane in front of shocked passengers minutes before it was due to take-off from Stansted Airport in London yesterday.
Flight attendants disinfected their seats and the overhead cabins and the plane was then able to fly to Pisa, Italy nearly two hours behind schedule.
In a statement, a Ryanair spokesman said the passenger received a text message right before his departure that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
He said: "The passenger and his travel companion were immediately offloaded and taken to a Stansted Airport isolation area where they were assisted by local public health authorities.
"Since this passenger and his companion had complied fully with Ryanair health regulations, they were both wearing masks at all times at Stansted Airport and for the very short period (less than 10 minutes) they were seated on the aircraft prior to departure.
"There was little if any risk of Covid-19 transmission to other passengers or crew members as all of whom were also wearing face masks at all times.
"The aircraft departed for Pisa following a delay of 1 hour and 20 mins to allow for the empty seats and overhead cabin bins to be disinfected to comply with all UK health authority guidance. Ryanair apologises to all passengers for this short delay”.
Video filmed by a horrified passenger showed three people dressed in protective gear approaching the passenger and his friend.
Other passengers were told to stay in their seats as the infected man was approached.
A Stansted Airport spokesman said: "The airport were made aware of the passenger by the airline and our fire service attended the aircraft and escorted the passenger (and travel partner) to an isolation area where they were put in contact with Public Health England, who then oversaw the passenger’s onward journey."
If the passenger received the text message before boarding the plane then he had broken coronavirus quarantine rules.
NHS England has told people with symptoms to stay at home.
"If you are getting a test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must stay at home until you get your result. Anyone in your support bubble must also stay at home," their advice reads.
It can take up to 72 hours for coronavirus test results to come back.
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A passenger on the flight posted a photo to Instagram showing her and a friend wearing masks.
"The face when you are about to take off and someone gets a text from track and trace," she captioned the photo.
It's understood no further action was taken once the plane landed in Italy, and no other passengers were required to self-isolate.
Passengers claimed that cops boarded the plane before it took off from Stansted.
The Sun Online has contacted Public Health England and the Met Police for comment.
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