UK-bound passengers ‘packed in like sardines’ waiting for flight from Rhodes

UK-bound passengers ‘packed in like sardines’ waiting for flight from Rhodes

 

A man has described so-called ‘coronavirus safe’ Rhodes airport as complete carnage after returning to the UK.

Stuart Winslow was heading home from the Greek island with his wife and seven-year-old daughter.

But he said the departure lounge was “like a football terrace” – despite officials suggesting the airport is one of the safest in the world, reports Leicestershire Live.

It comes after video footage showed fights breaking out as tourists were crushed together as they tried to leave on Saturday.

Angry holiday makers complained of a lack of staff on hand to help with huge queues.

Some said social distancing was impossible to achieve as the atmosphere turned toxic.

The “chaos” is reported to have started late last week as a family returned to East Midlands airport.

“It was absolute carnage,” said Mr Winslow.

“It was like they had no idea how to run an airport at all and there was no social distancing.

“We all had to queue en masse, shoulder to shoulder. People were losing their tempers and I’m surprised it didn’t all kick off.”

As a destination with low coronavirus rates, people coming home from Rhodes to the UK do not need to isolate on their return.

But the 40-year-old said he was worried that his family and other on their flight back yesterday afternoon could have contracted the virus in the bedlam of the airport.

He said: “I don’t know if it’s like that every day at the airport – there didn’t seem to be more than one cancellation on the board. There were just lots of flights heading back to the UK that day.

“On our resort they were really good and we were washing our hands and sanitising and everything. But then at Rhodes airport this happened.

“It was like taking part in a protest or something. There were some barriers but they were all unhooked and it was just an uncontrolled mass of people.

“We’re not required to isolate officially but we have said to our friends we’ll maybe give it a couple of weeks!”

He said the stampede shown in the photograph was leading up to a bank of four Greek passport desks and that before entering the hall shown there was a queue stretching back the length of a football field.

At this stage in the pandemic, England has agreed air corridors with a large number of locations around the world, including Greece and Rhodes.

Many European destinations are not subject to air corridors, including Spain, Portugal, France and Poland, which means people returning from those countries have to self-isolate for 14 days.

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