The plane passenger received positive results from a coronavirus test on a flight from Madrid to Lanzarote. The aircraft had 140 people on board and, as a result of the alarming news, became one of the first in Spain to be “quarantined.” It was immediately zoned off by health and security officials at Cesar Manrique airport on the island, with the police also attending.
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An investigation has been launched into why the man had been allowed to fly.
Strict travel rules in Spain currently only permit people to fly for a restricted number of reasons, including work or an incident of an emergency nature.
According to reports, the male passenger took a coronavirus test before he travelled after coming in contact with someone who had died from the virus and attending the funeral.
However, he is said to have left Madrid before the result came in – only discovering the positive result when the flight to Lanzarote was in mid-air.
Canary Island authorities were immediately contacted by the Castilla y León public health department which neighbours Madrid.
The Lanzarote airport then launched all the coronavirus protocols.
The passenger and those fliers sitting near him were immediately isolated.
They will have to be in quarantine for 14 days.
Meanwhile, the others on board are required to go into quarantine and take tests in a few days to see if they have contracted coronavirus whilst on the flight.
It is understood the island’s government has offered them rooms in one hotel as they won’t be able to mix with family members or friends.
These passengers must stay in confinement until tests are taken in seven days as only then would the result be accurate.
The man now faces prosecution for skipping quarantine and the State of Emergency.
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He has also been reported for a possible crime against public health.
The incident adds fuel to the debate over travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.
There are concerns over importing cases to regions, like the Canaries, which have had a low incidence of coronavirus and would not want to see any flare-up.
Spain, as a whole, has 237,906 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
However, the island of Lanzarote has only had six deaths and 84 positives.
In total, there have been 160 coronavirus deaths in the Canary Islands which wants to protect its low incidence level for the safety of residents and tourists.
In further news, unrelated to this incident, the Canary government has called for all travellers to take a coronavirus test before they leave their country of origin.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.
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