A WestJet flight to Montego Bay had to fly back to Toronto mid-trip on Monday after one of the passengers joked about having the coronavirus. The 28-year-old Thornhill man was arrested by Peel Police and is scheduled to appear in court. The WestJet coronavirus claim ended up with all 243 passengers having to be moved to another flight. 

The Thornhill man responsible for the fiasco will be appearing in court on March 9 and he is being charged with mischief, according to 680 News

It was two hours after boarding that the man reportedly started joking that he had contracted the virus, according to CP24.

The flight had to turn around and go back to the original airport as a safety precaution, with EMS officials and law enforcement waiting for them. 

WestJet told Narcity, "We sincerely apologize to the 243 guests who were affected by this unfortunate situation."

"Due to today’s subsequent cancellations of flight 2702 and 2703, we have added an extra segment flight scheduled to depart Toronto on Feb. 4 at 6:45 a.m. local and return from Montego Bay at 11:50 a.m. local."

"Law enforcement and EMS personnel were requested to meet the flight upon arrival in Toronto. Out of an abundance of caution, our crew followed all protocols for infectious disease on board, including sequestering an individual who made an unfounded claim regarding coronavirus."

However, the airline declined any further comments as it is now a police investigation. 

"Due to the involvement of law enforcement, as well as the privacy of our guests, we are not able to provide additional information about the incident at this time. The authorities will be advising us on next steps."

Despite the joke, health officials are taking the coronavirus very seriously. The World Health Organization has declared a state of emergency. 

In Toronto, hand sanitizer is becoming scarce and people are clearing stores out of protective masks as well. 

However, Ontario officials say that the threat is getting smaller in our province. 

As of Monday, 29 people are currently being monitored in Ontario, according to CP24. A third case was also confirmed in Ontario last week.  

Narcity reached out to Peel Regional Police and are awaiting their response. 

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