A couple who were asked by officials to quarantine at a hotel in the Netherlands after they tested positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus got detained by police on Nov. 28 after boarding an airplane, according to authorities.
The couple, who reportedly fled the quarantine hotel, were taken into custody as the airplane was about to take off in Schiphol, Amsterdam, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee said on Twitter, adding that both individuals have been transferred to the country’s municipal health service (GGD).
A spokeswoman for the local security authority that covers the airport said on Monday that an investigation was underway into whether the couple had committed a crime and should be prosecuted.
“Quarantine is not obligatory, but we assume people will act responsibly,” spokeswoman Petra Faber said. “But there was a couple that wanted to go home and they tried to fly home. The Royal Marechaussee took them off the plane and handed them back to the local health authority.”
Marianne Schuurmans, the mayor of Haarlemmermeer, has ordered the GGD to make sure the couple completes their quarantine at a closed ward of a hospital somewhere in the Netherlands, Faber said.
The GGD said the measures that were taken against the couple are “exceptional,” but were due to the country currently dealing with the new variant of the CCP virus.
Authorities said the couple, a Spanish man and a Portuguese woman, were initially asked to quarantine in the hotel that is located in the Dutch region of Kennemerland, the same hotel dozens of tourists from South Africa are being held after they tested positive for the CCP virus.
A total of 624 passengers who arrived from South Africa on Nov. 26 were tested for the CCP virus upon arrival and 61 on the flight turned out to be positive.
Among the infected passenger, at least 13 people are believed to have Omnicron, sequencing of samples has so far shown. Omnicron is a new variant of COVID-19 that was first discovered in South Africa earlier this month.
The woman, identified as Carolina Pimenta, was initially cleared for travel after three days of isolation together with her husband, Andrés Sanz, she told TV3, the regional broadcaster of Spain’s Catalonia region. Authorities, citing privacy rules, declined to give more detail about the couple, or whether they had tested positive for the Omicron variant.
“We were transparent at all times, I showed all the documents, we entered [the plane] and suddenly they called me and the police very aggressively treated us like criminals when they had given us the go-ahead, all without informing us at all,” Pimenta told TV3.
Police and military personnel guard the hotel to ensure that nobody enters the hotel who has no business there.
“The security is there for a reason,” a spokeswoman for Schuurmans said when asked whether authorities already had to force travelers who tested positive to remain in their rooms, Dutch news agency The Parool reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From NTD News