Two British Airways staff have tested positive for coronavirus and are recovering at home, according to reports.
The staff, said to be baggage handlers at London’s Heathrow Airport, bringing the total number of infected persons in the UK to 163.
The airline has encouraged its staff to take unpaid leave as the disease keeps spreading around the globe.
“Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that two members of our staff, have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.
“The welfare of our passengers and colleagues is our top priority. A dedicated team from Public Health England is in place at Heathrow to respond to any incidents,” British Airways said in a statement.
The airport is also cleaning surfaces and providing hand sanitisers to workers “to protect themselves and our passengers.”
A spokesman for Public Health England said that Heathrow already has enhanced monitoring for certain flights and that while it won’t comment on individual cases, in any positive test the department conducts contact tracing, aimed at locating everyone the person has made contact with.
British Airways, the biggest operator at London Heathrow, has already scrapped all flights to China, taking steps to slow down on destinations in Europe, Japan, and South Korea.
The carrier this week announced that it would scrap change fees on all new bookings made between March 3 and March 16, to spur travellers to book tickets.