Coronavirus: Lack of social distancing on MEA London flight angers passengers

Videos widely shared on social media show Lebanese passengers concerned over the lack of social distancing on a Middle East Airlines flight from London to Beirut last week.

Read the latest coronavirus updates in our dedicated section.

Passengers reportedly paid double and triple the price for a one-way ticket back to their home country under the impression that the flight will not be at full capacity in order to maintain a safe distance between passengers. However, videos show a packed flight with very few empty seats.

“I called a thousand times yesterday, and this morning [to check],” one passenger is heard saying to the employees. “Don’t think you can fool my intelligence.”

Employees dressed in personal protective equipment tried to stop passengers from filming the ordeal.

“Let people see that you are not following the rules,” a woman responded. “As agreed, there would be social distancing, one seat yes, one seat no.”

One employee on board then said, “If anyone doesn’t like it, they can leave the plane.”

The Lebanese Ambassador in London confirmed to LBCI news network that there were 99 passengers on board the flight in addition to another group of passengers from the United States connecting in London.

He reportedly said that all the London passengers were given PCR tests prior to the travel date and the results were all negative and therefore there is no danger in sitting close to others, LBCI reported. However, he said passengers from the US were seated in a separate section on the airplane. It wasn't confirmed if the US passengers had been testing prior to boarding.

Lebanon has so far confirmed 845 coronavirus cases.

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Last Update: 14:00 KSA 17:00 - GMT 14:00
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