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Couple fleeing Omicron quarantine hotel in the Netherlands arrested after flying from South Africa until mutant strain spreads

DUTCH police said they had arrested a couple who had left a Covid-isolated hotel and were trying to flee the country.

They were detained yesterday on a plane at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport shortly before it departed for Spain.

The arrest was made on a plane at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport shortly before it departed for Spain.

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The arrest was made on a plane at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport shortly before it departed for Spain.

The drama comes after Dutch authorities said 61 people who arrived on two flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Friday had tested positive for coronavirus.

13 of them have the new Omicron variant.

According to public health agency spokesman Stefanie, one of the couple’s members has tested positive for Covid-19 and is in isolation, while the other is negative but is being isolated. .

She added that the two were back in quarantine, but not at the same hotel.

They are a Spanish man, 30 years old and a Portuguese woman, 28 years old,

Ms van Waardenburg said: “The arrest took place in an aircraft about to take off. They were on a plane that was going to depart for Spain at around 6pm.”

Border police are now charging the Dutch prosecutor’s office with the couple for endangering public safety, he said.

Verberkt confirmed that the couple has been turned over to public health authorities.

It is not known how the couple left the hotel or how the alarm went off.

Dutch authorities announced new stricter travel protocols on Friday as alarms sounded around the world about the new variant of Omicron, which emerged in southern Africa for the first time.

The 600 people on two South African flights on Friday spent most of the day stranded at the airport being screened for what one person described as “central astigmatism”.

Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge had said just hours earlier that authorities in the Netherlands would ensure that people comply with the quarantine rules.

The Covid-positive passengers from the South African flights were mostly staying at hotels while a few were allowed to quarantine at home.

Passengers who have tested negative have also been asked to isolate at home.

“We will check whether they comply with those rules,” Mr. de Jonge said.

The health minister added that it cannot be ruled out that more people than the original 13 have contracted the Omicron variant.

“We’re concerned, but how much we should be at this stage we don’t know yet,” he said.

A spokesman for the local mayor said earlier that police and security personnel had been guarding the quarantine hotel.

“The security is there for a reason,” she said.

13 cases of Omicron detected in the Netherlands

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/16880583/new-variant-omicron-couple-flee-quarantine/ Couple fleeing Omicron quarantine hotel in the Netherlands arrested after flying from South Africa until mutant strain spreads

Huynh Nguyen

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