According to flight attendants, a group of British anti-maskers refused to wear face masks on a flight home from Berlin, and behaved "like spoiled brats".
Three women, who were flying with British Airways from Berlin back to London Heathrow Airport following an anti-lockdown meeting, apparently won a stand off with the airport staff for not wanting to wear a face mask. One of the three women, Charisse Burchett, was criticised after she shared an image of herself and two women seated on the aircraft with no face masks on, claiming that they allegedly have a medical exemption.
In the picture she shared, she stated that "We had a ten Brit mask-less standoff at Berlin airport. Police and authorities could not make us wear masks. Our last protest on German soil. I love this cheeky photo. It was a standoff and I have a film to prove it. The Nazi police and airport officials were incredibly intimidating."
An insider who was also aboard the flight claimed that the group began "coughing as a joke" after eventually boarding the plane, but said "this seemed very fake and put on".
It was also claimed that the "ring leader", who was called out to be Burchett, had behaved "like a spoiled brat" throughout the confrontation with airport staff.
Insiders added that "They were universally condemned by all other passengers in the airport. I talked to a very nice young man who genuinely had a medical exemption but felt 'it's because of people like that I just wear a mask and try and get on with it'. The German police and security acted professionally at all times trying to find out why they wouldn't wear their masks. The police only arrived when they were getting irate with the airport staff who wanted to see their doctors note for the 'medical exemption', which is the rule in Germany."
Some members on the plane don't know why the women were eventually permitted to board the plane.
Burchett took to Twitter where she claimed in a post that the group all "had medical exemptions" which allowed them to go without masks on the flight.
"We had medical exemptions. But passengers can take theirs off to eat and drink? So the virus is not that deadly on a plane is it really? It's about being compliant."
However, her enthusiasm and joy after they defeated the "Nazi police" caused a spiral of backlash among social media users. Several people branded the three women "an embarrassment to the UK".
Julie Hendry, a Twitter user, commented on Burchett’s post; "Masks don't protect the wearer – they protect those around the wearer. How on earth can people still be this illiterate about how masks work? People like you cause mask wearers to get sick because of your selfishness and ignorance".
Louise Westlake commented on the same post, "Medical exemption, my a***. And all your friends have medical exemptions too? You are an embarrassment to the UK. Germany should ban you from ever darkening their doorstep again. Pathetic."
However, not everyone was against the trio’s decision as some defended Burchett's right not to wear a mask. Twitter user, Cazi B, supported the trio as she commented, "Way to go. Well done."
Not taking the backlash well, Burchett claimed that "We were there supporting the doctors speaking up against the lies being told to you. The brave doctors that need to be heard. What's happening is a global crime. I won't be ashamed for standing against tyranny."
Germany is dealing with a sharp rise in coronavirus infections, which has risen to a daily increase by more than 7,300 new cases. The gathering was held in Germany after German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, warned that the country is heading for "disaster" after regional leaders refused to sign off on her tough new coronavirus measures.
A Berlin court, however, suspended the curfew on bars and restaurants, joining other courts in overturning government-imposed measures meant to contain the further spread of the coronavirus.