Yesterday, I wrote about a couple who had traveled on KLM from South Africa to the Netherlands and were forced to go into quarantine in Amsterdam after one of them tested positive for COVID-19. Initial media reports claimed the couple escaped their quarantine hotel and were busted while trying to board a flight to Spain. But the couple is pushing back, claiming they should never have been held in the first place.
Pair Of Travelers Blast The Netherlands For Quarantine Treatment, Argue They Should Never Have Been Held In Amsterdam In The First Place
Carolina Pimenta and her boyfriend Andrés Sanz, who live in Spain, contend that the first test was a false positive and four subsequent test returned negative (two PCR, two antigen). Only Pimenta initially tested positive while Sanz tested negative each time. Pimenta had also recovered from COVID-19 three months ago.
After being detained Sunday evening in Schiphol Airport, the couple were taken to a hospital and forced to quarantine under threat of jail of time. This was not technically an arrest. When stopped onboard their flight, they contacted the Spanish Ambassador, who intervened. Even so, Mayor Marianne Schuurmans of Haarlemmermeer forced the couple into quarantine under a questionable legal basis.
Yesterday afternoon, Dutch authorities released the couple after their attorney protested their treatment. The couple were taken from the hospital to the Spanish consulate by taxi and their return journey is being prepared.
Pimenta and Sanz have been making their rounds on local media to explain their side of the story, telling RTL Nieuws:
“Nobody tells us why we are here or how long we have to stay here. We are locked up, it is freezing cold, and the nurses are like robots. We only get food and drink, but are not informed further.”
Pimenta also complained of sewer issues in the hospital, with strong odors of urine and feces filling their holding area. Before plumbers were dispatched, Pimenta asked to use another toilet but claims, “One of the nurses told me to do it on the floor.”
Their attorney, Bart Maes, argues the initial test created a false basis upon which to hold them and that the three subsequent tests left no doubt the couple was not a risk. The couple will be seeking damages.
The couple’s side is an interesting twist to a story that was widely reported, including on Live and Let’s Fly, as a pair of travelers who selfishly tried to escape quarantine early, despite a positive COVID-19 test, to get home. We’ve now heard both sides and can weigh them accordingly. Wherever the truth lies, it does appear the couple will shortly, if not already, be traveling home to Spain with no charges against them.
images: Andrés Sanz