A group of passengers seen flouting mask mandates as they partied on a charter plane from Montreal to Mexico are now stuck in the country as three airlines have refused to fly them home and some have since tested positive for COVID-19.
The group made headlines after the Dec. 30 video of their Sunwing Airlines charter flight began to circulate online, showing the passengers, which included social media influencers and reality stars, maskless on the plane, singing, dancing, and drinking in close proximity to each other.
Many of the passengers are now stuck in Mexico, as Sunwing Airlines cancelled the group’s returning flight and Air Transat and Air Canada have both refused to transport the passengers.
— Public Outsider (@publicoutsider) January 6, 2022
“We confirm that they will be denied boarding based on our legal and regulatory obligations to ensure the safety of both our passengers and crew, which is our top priority,” Air Transat tweeted Wednesday.
As video of the group’s exploits continued to circulate, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referred to the passengers as “idiots” and “barbarians,” according to The Associated Press.
Further complicating matters, a number of the passengers have since tested positive for COVID-19 and must continue to quarantine in Mexico. Passenger Rebecca St-Pierre, a 19-year-old student, told The Associated Press she estimates that about 30 of the passengers have tested positive.
“The organizer just left everybody,” St-Pierre said. “I don’t know who’s still here. All the flights have been cancelled.”
Canada’s Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino issued a joint statement Thursday stating an investigation is underway and passengers found to have violated the country’s Transportation Department regulations could be fined up to $5,000 Canadian per violation (U.S. $3,930).
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