“Please, help us leave!”, A German woman begs in a video that is circulating on social networking sites. He is among dozens of passengers on flights from Britain who were stranded at German airports Sunday night through Monday. Cause: the new, much more contagious strain of SARS-CoV-2, found in the United Kingdom.
At Hanover Airport in the north of the country, the measure was seized by a group of 63 passengers who arrived from the country, as the authorities did not allow them to leave the airport, which was confirmed by the local police department.
Everyone had to be tested for the new coronavirus. They were made on the spot by a team of medical and nursing staff, equipped with all the means of personal protection – uniforms, masks, masks. Their results are expected to be announced tonight.
The airport, meanwhile, has set up campaign beds at one of the terminals for passengers to spend the night.
“Our goal is to prevent the new strain of the virus from spreading to the area,” local health official Andreas Kradz told the German news agency.
Among the passengers who were excluded, the atmosphere was tense. “We are at Hanover airport, they are holding us here against our will, we are being forced to take a test and we were forbidden to leave before the results came out,” protested Manuela Tomis, a young German, in a video uploaded to the German newspaper’s website. Picture.
She is pictured among a group of excluded people like her, including a nine-month-old baby.
Similar scenes unfolded in Stuttgart, with a much smaller group of UK-based passengers being taken to an on-site testing center, according to an airport spokesman. And they will be allowed to leave only if the results of the diagnostic tests are negative, however they will be obliged to be quarantined.
“We are aware of the inconvenience this is causing, especially so close to Christmas,” police said, adding that “they will make every effort” to comply with safety rules and to treat passengers well.
Germany, like more and more countries, decided to suspend flights from the UK from midnight yesterday Sunday (local time; 01:00 today Monday Greek time). Those who arrived on Sunday night, it was decided to carry out enhanced passenger checks after landing, in particular to undergo tests.
The appearance of the mutant strain of the new coronavirus, which is believed to be much more contagious, worries the authorities: it is estimated that it may be 70% more contagious than others.