Ryanair apologizes after staffers force 12-year-old autistic boy to have COVID-19 test: report

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Ryanair, the Dublin-based, low-cost airline, said in a statement Thursday that it regretted learning about the "stress" caused to the family of a 12-year-old autistic boy who was reportedly forced to have a COVID-19 test by its staffers at an airport in Spain.

The BBC posted a video of the boy, Callum Hollingsworth, seen getting emotional while medical staffers explain the procedure. A voice could be heard off-camera explaining that the boy has ADHD and autism. The person also said that he had a letter of exemption from a general practitioner. 

"They said if you don’t have a COVID test you can’t go home," Katy Hollingsworth, the boy’s mother, told the outlet. "So we had no choice." The family said that the boy has struggled through lockdowns and they hoped the vacation would make him happy.

She said the boy’s father had to "physically restrain" her son. 

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"Callum tried to be brave but he was petrified," she said.

The incident occurred on Aug. 3 in Valencia.  

The airline told the BBC in a statement that its policy is to fully comply with the EU and government travel restrictions."

"We continue to make improvements and implement procedures to ensure the health and safety of our passengers and our crew is prioritized while complying with each country's government guidelines at all times," the statement read.

The airline did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.

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