Netherlands: Couple flees the quarantine hotel

Status: 11/29/2021 10:24 a.m.

After their trip to South Africa, a young couple has to go to a quarantine hotel in the Netherlands. Apparently that doesn’t suit either of them. They flee – and are caught in the plane heading for Spain. However, some questions remain unanswered.

The Dutch border police arrested a couple after escaping from a quarantine hotel. The two were caught on Sunday in a plane that was supposed to take off for Spain.

The 30-year-old Spaniard and the 28-year-old Portuguese had previously fled from a hotel in which travelers from South Africa who tested positive for Corona are staying, some of whom were also found to have the new Omikron variant.

One of the two people tested positive for the virus, said a spokeswoman for the health authority. The other had tested negative, but was still quarantined.

How did they get on the plane?

How the couple escaped from the hotel near Amsterdam Airport is a mystery, said a spokesman for the border police, according to the broadcaster NOS. “Various units ensure that nobody gets in or out of the hotel, including the border police.” According to the police, it is also unclear how the two were able to get on the plane.

A few hours before the escape, the Dutch Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge had declared that the authorities in the Netherlands would ensure that the quarantine regulations were observed. “We will check whether they adhere to these rules,” said de Jonge in front of reporters. Police and security forces kept watch at the quarantine hotel, said a spokeswoman for the authorities. “The security precautions have a reason.”

So far unclear whether infected with Omikron

After their failed escape, the police handed them over to the health authorities. You were then placed under quarantine again. A lawsuit for “endangering public security” was launched by the authorities on Sunday evening. The public prosecutor’s office must now decide on criminal proceedings for endangering public safety.

The incident came after the Dutch authorities announced that 13 out of 61 travelers who arrived at Schiphol Airport on two planes from South Africa on Friday were infected with the new variant of Omikron. Almost all Covid-positive passengers are currently in a quarantine hotel. However, a handful were allowed to go home in quarantine. Passengers who tested negative were also placed in quarantine at home. It is still unclear whether the escaped couple is also infected with this highly contagious variant.

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