Coronavirus: Trainee Ryanair crew in Dublin quarantine after positive tests

Fifteen Italian trainees arrived in Ireland on March 7th and all tested positive for Covid-19

Grounded Ryanair planes this week. 17 trainees from the airline are in quarantine in Dublin. Photograph: Benoit Doppagne/Belga/AFP via Getty

A group of trainee Italian Ryanair stewards all tested positive for coronavirus and are in quarantine in Dublin, according to reports in Italy.

Of the 17 members of the group, who had been in training in Bergamo, northern Italy, the epicentre of the virus, 15 are Italians and all tested positive for the disease.

They were training with Dublin-based recruitment company Crewlink which confirmed to The Irish Times the group has been quarantined in co-ordination with the HSE and the Italian embassy.

All are in "precautionary self-isolation" until March 24th, Crewlink confirmed in a statement. Crewlink is the official recruitment partner for Ryanair and the airlines it has acquired: Buzz, Laudamotion and Malta Air.


According to media reports in Italy, the trainees left Bergamo, where they were training, on March 2nd bound for Bari in the south of Italy.

From there they flew to Dublin on the following Saturday, March 7th, when a female trainee felt ill in her hotel and was taken to hospital.

She tested positive for coronavirus as did 15 of the 17 of her colleagues, all of them Italian, according to various reports in Italian newspapers.

There was criticism of the Irish Government at the time for not shutting down flights from Italy when it became apparent that the situation regarding coronavirus in the country had become grave.


One trainee steward is quoted in the Gazzetta del Sud, a newspaper in the south of Italy, as calling on the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intervene.

He said four women among them had been seen by a doctor but the rest had not, yet all were in quarantine.

The trainee steward, who did not give his full name, added: “Some very kind social workers are bringing us groceries, but they do not know anything about our health conditions or how we should behave.

“We got in touch with the Italian embassy in Dublin - to find out if we can be repatriated or at least if they can help us find accommodation. Ryanair has been close to us, making sure that as soon as the flights resume and the emergency is over, we can start working. And that’s what we all hope for.”

The Italian embassy in Dublin did not respond to the request from The Irish Times for a statement, but officials did give a statement to the Italian press.

"The Italian Embassy in Dublin, in close connection with the Farnesina [Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs] crisis unit is constantly in contact with the group of compatriots to provide them with any possible assistance. They are respecting the quarantine imposed by the Irish health authorities."

HSE statement

The HSE and the Department of Health issued a statement stating that they do not provide "information about individual activations of preparedness plans or about individual cases of Covid-19 (coronavirus) other than confirmed cases.

"The approach which has been taken to date in Ireland is in line with guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Centre of Disease Control."

Ryanair said the group involved were the responsibility of Crewlink. Its human resources manager Sylwia Woloch issued a brief statement: "All Italian trainees have been taken care of by Crewlink in coordination with the Irish HSE (Health Service Executive). Crewlink and the Italian Embassy in Dublin are working closely, regarding the care and repatriation of their trainees who are currently in precautionary self-isolation up until 24th March."

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times