Leeds United fan told to self-isolate after catching last flight out of coronavirus hit Rome

A Leeds United fan on one of the last flights out of Rome has touched down in the UK - but must now self-isolate for two weeks.

Tuesday, 10th March 2020, 6:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th March 2020, 6:04 pm

Mark Thompson was forced to catch an Alitalia flight after major airlines including British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair said they were cancelling flights to and from Italy.

The entire country is on lockdown, with the latest figures showing 631 deaths and 10,149 cases of coronavirus.

Mr Thompson, 34, works for Sky News and was in Italy to cover the coronavirus story.

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A picture Mr Thompson took on his flight (Credit: Mark Thompson / Sky News).

His dad is from Beeston and his granddad's ashes are buried under Elland Road,

Mr Thompson tweeted as he boarded his lunchtime flight: "BA/Ryanair stopped all flights into and out of Italy meaning this Alitalia flight might be one of the last out of Rome today.

"Barely anyone on our flight out, this one is close to full. All on board expected to self-isolate for 2 weeks when we land in Heathrow.

"Announcement from pilot that we have to stay in our seats until we receive PHE (Public Health England) clearance when we land.

Leeds United fan Mark Thompson (Photo: Mark Thompson / Sky News).

"Would anecdotally suggest about 1 in 5 or 6 is wearing a face mask, seen plenty of hand sanitiser."

Upon landing, Mr Thompson told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "We were told explicitly over tannoy everyone on board should self-isolate for 14 days

"No sign of being checked at this end, but had temperature checked before we flew."

The Government said on Tuesday afternoon that the NHS 111 online service has been giving out the wrong advice on coronavirus to travellers returning from Italy.

Returning travellers were still being told all day on Tuesday there was no need to self-isolate if they had no symptoms, despite despite advice from Public Health England released on Monday night advising all people coming from Italy to stay at home for 14 days regardless of whether they feel unwell, The Guardian reported.

Mr Thompson said he would self-isolate in his London flat, but was unsure of what his fiance should do.

He has been told to lock himself in a spare room until he gets a call from a nurse.

"We live in a relatively small two-bed flat with a cat," he said.

"I’m told to avoid contact with both of them, but whether that’s for the whole 14 days?

"Can we be in a room together? Should she self-isolate as well?

"For the moment the plan is to stay in our spare room which we’re lucky enough to have and try to limit contact.

"Can’t do my normal job and it’s not the kind of thing you can do easily from home, but I’m sure I’ll contribute in someway."