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‘I’m going to infect you all with coronavirus’: Spanish man arrested on suspicion of assault

A Mallorca man who infected 22 people with Covid-19 has been arrested on suspicion of assault for going to work and the gym despite signs he had the virus, police said Saturday.

'I'm going to infect you all with coronavirus': Spanish man arrested on suspicion of assault
Spain tightened face masks rules, making them mandatory outdoors and in all public places. (Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP)

Police on the Spanish island began investigating at the end of January after an outbreak in the town of Manacor, following reports an employee had “become infected but hidden his illness”, a statement said.

Days before the outbreak was detected, he began to show symptoms causing his colleagues concern but did not want to go home.

At the end of the day, he went for a PCR test but didn’t wait for the result, returning the next day to his job and also attending his local gym.

At work, both the manager and staff insisted he go home because he could be infecting everyone, later telling police he had a temperature “of over 40 degrees Celsius” – more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

READ ALSO: Could PCR tests for travel to Spain and EU be free this summer?

But he ignored them and spent the day walking around his workplace, deliberately lowering his mask when he coughed and taunting them by saying: “I’m going to infect you all with coronavirus,” police said.

When his PCR result came through at the end of the day, it was positive, causing alarm among his colleagues who were also tested.

Five of them also tested positive, and they in turn infected several of their family members, including three one-year-old babies.

At the gym, three people who had been in direct contact with him were also infected and passed on the virus to family members.

Police said his actions resulted in a total of 22 infections, although none required hospital treatment, with the man arrested on suspicion of assault.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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