The Dutch police have detained a Spanish citizen and a Portuguese citizen at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport when they tried to flee the country aboard a plane bound for Spain, after escaping from the hotel where they were quarantined with the other travelers who arrived from South Africa with 13 infections of the omicron variant. One of the two had tested positive.
A spokesman for the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee explained to EFE on Monday that the gendarmerie had received this Sunday “information that stated that two people had left the hotel where they were serving quarantine near Schiphol and that they intended to leave the country, so an investigation was launched to locate them “before they managed to leave the Netherlands.RELATED
The couple, a 30-year-old boy and a 28-year-old girl, had purchased two plane tickets for a flight that left this Sunday in the late afternoon to an unspecified Spanish city, and had even managed to board, passing all controls previous “apparently” with their COVID pass that collects that both are fully vaccinated.
“They were trying to leave the Netherlands on a plane. The boarding process was already finished, so we had to go inside the plane, take them out of there in detention and hand them over to the health authorities, who put them at the disposal of the Public Prosecutor’s Office to decide how to will proceed from now on, “explained the spokesman.
The Prosecutor’s Office could present throughout this Monday the charges that the couple will be imputed for “violating the mandatory quarantine”, which in the Netherlands is considered a “crime” and can carry from fines to imprisonment, depending on the charged charges, which could include high risk of contagion from others.
The couple is now isolated in another hotel, although they are officially “detained for health reasons,” the spokesman said. The gendarmerie is still unclear on how they managed to escape from a hotel that is under constant surveillance.
For privacy reasons, the spokesman has not offered details that could compromise the identity of the detainees, but one of those arrested had tested positive for coronavirus, along with sixty other passengers who arrived last Friday on two flights from South Africa and who were subjected to a test at the same airport to determine if they were infected.
The two flights, from Johannesburg and Cape Town, landed in Amsterdam on the same day that an air traffic ban from several southern African countries came into force due to fears of the new omicron variant.
The other detained citizen also had to be in isolation due to contact with an infected person, so both were prohibited from leaving the hotel where they were until the days of rigor passed and they were subjected to another PCR that would allow them to lift the quarantine.
With the exception of five people, who reside in the Netherlands in an address they do not share with others, the rest of the travelers who tested positive were transferred to a hotel near the airport to comply with the mandatory quarantine.
Meanwhile, the health authorities are investigating the samples collected for the tests, which so far have shown the presence of at least 13 cases of contagion with the omicron variant, although it is not clear if one of the people arrested yesterday at the airport was infected with this mutation.