A couple was arrested at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for violating their coronavirus quarantine after they slipped out of their hotel to try to catch a flight to Portugal. At least one of them had tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival from South Africa just days earlier.
Despite Testing Positive For COVID-19, Couple Escape From Quarantine Hotel In Amsterdam In Attempt To Board Flight To Spain
Beginning last Friday, passengers arriving from South Africa were directed to a special area of Schiphol Airport (AMS) for post-flight testing. Those who tested negative were allowed to continue to their final destination or enter the Netherlands unsupervised with instructions to self-quarantine while those who tested positive were sent home to quarantine (if Dutch citizens or residents) or to quarantine hotels (if foreigners).
Of the more 600 passengers on a pair of KLM flights, one from Johannesburg, the other from Cape Town, about 10% (61 passengers) tested positive for COVID-19. While tracing continues to occur, at least a dozen of those passengers tested positive for the omicron variant.
It is not clear if this married couple, a Portuguese woman and a Spanish man, had omicron, but at least one had tested positive for COVID-19 and were placed in a quarantine hotel after arriving from southern Africa.
Sunday evening, the couple “made a run for it” (according to Dutch media reports) and left their quarantine hotel without checking out. A security guard noticed and alerted the Marechaussee (national police force).
The police found the couple onboard their flight to Spain and arrested them moments before the flight was set to depart. According to a police spokesperson, the couple were arrested “almost silently and without violence.”
They have now been placed in insolation at an area hospital. Charges may be filed against them for evading quarantine rules.
If true, what a selfish move by the couple. Certainly, I can empathize with their desire to get home, especially if ill. But if at least one of them was positive, their desire to get home does not justify putting other in direct risk from any variant of COVID-19 (especially when the Dutch government footed their hotel bill…it’s not like they had no way to pay for their stay or food).
A couple returning from South Africa tried to escape their quarantine hotel in order to fly home to Spain. They were busted and now are prisoners in an isolation ward of an Amsterdam-area hospital. While not resorting to Hong Kong-like tactics, the Dutch appear to be taking quarantines quite seriously.