The affected workers are recovering from their isolation at home, a British Airways spokesperson said Friday in an email. A small number of baggage handlers’ colleagues are also being tested, said someone familiar with the matter. The presence of the epidemic at Europe’s first airport is likely to heighten concerns over air travel after the spread of the coronavirus from Asia has led to a decline in consumers in Europe and the United States. IATA announced this week that carriers could lose $ 113 billion in sales this year, almost four times more than its estimate of the impact of the epidemic just two weeks earlier.
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« The well-being of our passengers and colleagues is our top priority, » said Heathrow in a statement. A dedicated team from Public Health England, the health agency that confirmed the cases, is in place at Heathrow to respond to any incidents. The airport also cleans surfaces and provides workers with hand sanitizers « to protect themselves and our passengers. »