Enforcing wearing masks

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The news that 16 people on a single TUI flight from Zante (also known as Zakynthos) in the Greek islands to Cardiff have tested positive for coronavirus raises two problems demanding immediate attention.

The first is whether Zante or Greece should be placed on the “don’t fly” list.

The second is why TUI is not enforcing the wearing of masks on flights.

That this flight is not the only one to return from Zante with passengers that have been found to be infectious is confirmed by the fact that the Greek government was concerned about increasing COVID-19 rates on the island to introduce controls there over last weekend.

Not only did it order all shops to be closed from 11pm-7am, it also placed a ban on outdoor parties and gatherings of more than 9 people. It stipulated that masks must be worn at all times both indoors and out.

In the UK it is mandatory to wear masks on public transport and that should include planes. So why didn’t the flight crew on the TUI flight insist that passengers wear masks? Why didn’t TUI tell its cabin crew to enforce the measure?

What punishments can TUI hand out to infringing passengers? It has the right to ban passengers if passengers endanger public safety so why not threaten that?

Instead it has put all passengers and the crew at risk and now all face a 14 day quarantine imposed by Public Health Wales.

When the news broke TUI said that it was previously unaware of the incident. I take it then that the crew didn’t report the incident.

Passenger confidence is at a low ebb and this incident is going to do nothing to persuade those waverers that it is safe to fly. Or at least that it may not be safe to go on TUI flights because it cannot uphold its own rules and the guidance issued by government and regulators.

Perhaps a substantial fine for TUI would help it put its house in order.

Image – TUI Group
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