MIAMI- Public Health England (PHE) confirms today to British Airways (BA) that two baggage handlers have been infected with the coronavirus, adding two more to the 163 cases in the UK.

An employee of PHE said, “The colleagues have been isolated and are recovering at home,” not mentioning exactly where the staff in question worked at London Heathrow Airport (LRH) or how they get infected.

Statement from LHR

Airport authorities said, “A dedicated Public Health England team is operating at Heathrow to respond to any incidents at the airport, and we are working closely with them to ensure our colleagues are following their latest guidance in its entirety to protect themselves and our passengers.” 

“In line with Public Health England’s advice, we have enhanced thorough cleaning processes, increased the availability and provision of hand sanitizers for our colleagues and continue to advise anyone working or traveling through the airport to follow the Government’s advice to maintain good hand hygiene,” added the airport.

British Airways’ current situation

As a result of the suspensions of more than 400 of its flights, BA became the latest major airline in the past hours to offer to its employees an “optional” unpaid leave.

In the last few days, the UK-based carrier also announced that due to the COVID-19 spread, a reduction of its flights to Italy, South Korea and Singapore would take place in addition to waiving change fees for bookings made between March 3 and March 16.