Cruise Ship Passengers Quarantined at Gatwick Airport After Arriving on Flight from Barbados

The plane was met by emergency services at London Gatwick following an eight-hour flight from Barbados. (Credit: Trevor Wilson/Twitter)

LONDON, England, Wednesday March 6, 2019 – Three people have reportedly been hospitalized after a Virgin Atlantic flight from Barbados was quarantined today, due to widespread illness on the plane.

Dozens of passengers on the Virgin charter flight that was carrying 448 holidaymakers who were returning home after travelling on the cruise ship MSC Preziosa in the Caribbean, had complained of feeling unwell.

The plane was met by emergency services following an eight-hour flight from Barbados that landed at 5:25 a.m. A Sussex Police representative said the plane was quarantined as a precaution, and the passengers and crew were escorted to a secure location where they were checked over by the ambulance service.

After checks were performed, several passengers were cleared to continue their journeys.

One passenger speculated that the illness might have originated on board the ship and not the plane. But Swiss-based cruise line MSC Cruises said in a statement that no cases of acute gastroenteritis on the MSC Preziosa had been reported in the past 14 days.

“We are still investigating what may have caused the illness and we are currently waiting for further updates from Gatwick Airport medical services,” a spokesperson said.

A Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman added that the airline was working with the airport and medical teams “to offer assistance to customers, and will conduct a full investigation into the circumstances”.

She said screening was a standard procedure when a health issue was reported on board a plane and “there is no reason to believe this is anything other than an isolated incident”.

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