Coronavirus Outbreak: Last direct flight to China for weeks takes off at SFO

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The last direct flights from China arrived and departed from SFO Friday evening.

China Southern Airline's final direct flight from Guangzhou, China arrived just before 6 p.m. The final direct flight from SFO to China departed around 10:40 p.m.

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Tina Cheng is a San Francisco resident and was visiting her father for a month near Guangzhou. Cheng said she had already booked this flight before Coronavirus concerns really took off. She said it took several hours to get through customs.

"They took our temperature, so we get out- but there's a long line. Oh, I'm happy to be coming back home," Cheng said.

On China Southern's Instagram page, they posted a photo of a worker in a hazmat suit cleaning a plane with the caption: 'We are doing our daily cleaning and disinfecting of aircraft cabins.'



Earlier on Friday, there were reports that a passenger from San Francisco landed in Heathrow, London feeling Coronavirus symptoms. That passenger was taken off the plane separately. Then the staff deep cleaned the plane for flight 900 back to SFO.

"They just kind of mentioned it was due to a sick passenger or something on the plane and they wanted to clean it. I was fairly certain United as a company wouldn't put us at risk," passenger Elbert Thompson said. Thompson said the delay was over two hours.

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East Bay resident Sumeet Righsinghani was on that flight from Heathrow. He said passengers were waiting in the lounge area when an online article mentioned someone on the plan they are about to board could be feeling sick- but nothing was confirmed. "We didn't know how much of that was fact or not but it definitely delayed the flight and it did not come to the gate so we actually like I said- went on the bus and then the plane," Righsinghani said.

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Bay Area residents can still get to China but it will require connecting to another airport.

China Southern Airlines will resume service at the end of March.
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