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Dutch police arrest couple ‘fleeing’ Covid hotel

Both were back in isolation



Photo Courtesy : AFP

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AFP) —Dutch border police said Sunday they arrested a couple on a plane after they fled a quarantine hotel where Covid-positive passengers from South African flights were staying.

The drama came after Dutch authorities said that 61 people who arrived on two flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Friday had tested positive for the coronavirus, 13 of them with the new Omicron variant.

One of the members of the couple had tested positive for Covid-19 and went into isolation, while the other person was negative but in quarantine, according to Public health authority spokesperson Stefanie van Waardenburg.

She added that both were back in isolation, but not at the same hotel.

They are a Spanish man, 30 and a Portuguese woman, aged 28, police spokesperson Stan Verberkt told AFP.

Border police are now laying charges with the Dutch public prosecutor’s office against the couple for jeopardizing public safety, he said.

The pair had been handed over to the public health authority, Verberkt confirmed.

It was not known how the couple left the hotel or how the alarm was raised.

The Dutch authorities announced stricter new travel protocols on Friday as alarm mounted around the world about the new Omicron variant, which first emerged in southern Africa.

The 600 people on the two South Africa flights on Friday spent most of the day stuck at the airport being tested in conditions that one person described as “dystopia central.”