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World: Couple Arrested After Leaving Quarantine, Boarding Flight Following South Africa Vacation

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The couple had voluntarily left their quarantine hotel but were removed from the plane by Dutch national police, according to local outlets. Dutch outlet Het Parool reported that the couple was among 61 people who were being quarantined in the hotel after returning from South Africa and testing positive for COVID. So far, 13 of the 61 cases have been identified as the Omicron variant, which was recently discovered and is being used by governments across the world to propose new restrictions.

The couple had voluntarily left their quarantine hotel but were removed from the plane by Dutch national police, according to local outlets. “The arrests took place in a plane that was about to take off. Dutch outlet Het Parool reported that the couple was among 61 people who were being quarantined in the hotel after returning from South Africa and testing positive for COVID. So far, 13 of the 61 cases have been identified as the Omicron variant, which was recently discovered and is being used by governments across the world to propose new restrictions.

A married couple was arrested Sunday for attempting to fly out of the Netherlands after leaving mandatory quarantine when one of them tested positive for COVID-19 following a flight from their South African vacation, the Associated Press reported.

A picture taken on November 29, 2021 at the Schiphol airport shows an appointment desk for Covid-19 test. - Dutch health authorities said November 29 they have found another case of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant among passengers arriving from South Africa, bringing the total to 14. © Kenzo Tribouillard/ AFP/Getty Images A picture taken on November 29, 2021 at the Schiphol airport shows an appointment desk for Covid-19 test. - Dutch health authorities said November 29 they have found another case of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant among passengers arriving from South Africa, bringing the total to 14. "With the help of sequencing, it has now been confirmed in 14 people that it is the Omicron variant," Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said in a letter to parliament.

Caroline Pimenta had a layover in Amsterdam on Friday with her husband, Andres Sanz, and was put in a hotel for mandatory isolation after she tested positive after vacationing in Cape Town, the couple told TV3.

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Dutch border police arrested a couple on a plane after they fled a hotel where Covid-positive passengers from South African flights were staying. One of the partners arrested was among 61 people who tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, on board two flights from South Africa on Friday, said public health authority spokeswoman Stefanie van "The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee at Schiphol arrested a couple this evening who had fled from a quarantine hotel," Mr Verberkt said. "The arrests took place on a plane that was about to take off.

DUTCH police said they had arrested a married couple who left a Covid quarantine hotel and were attempting to flee the country.They were detained yest. 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".

Pimenta said that Dutch authorities cleared her to travel after three days of isolation instead of the usual five because she had COVID less than six months ago. But they were arrested after boarding a flight that was taking them back home to Spain.

"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.

A total of 624 people arrived on two flights Friday from South Africa at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Sixty-one passengers tested positive for COVID-19. At least 13 of them have the new Omicron variant.

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The couple were arrested “(on board ) a plane that was about to take off en route to Spain at 6 p.m. local time (12 p.m. ET) and both persons have been transferred to the GGD (regional Dutch health authority),” Verberkt added. Dutch authorities will decide if the couple will face charges of The health authority is carrying out more tests on passengers to see if any carry the new Omicron variant, Waardenburg added. The Netherlands is among the countries that have imposed a flight ban on the southern African region (including South Africa ) following reports of the new variant.

The Associated Press reported that a married couple was arrested on Sunday for attempting to flee the Netherlands after one of them tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a vacation in South Africa . Caroline Pimenta and her husband, Andres Sanz, had a layover in However, they were apprehended shortly after boarding a flight back to Spain. “We were completely transparent at all times; I showed all the documents, we boarded [the plane], and then they called me and the police treated us like criminals after they gave us the go-ahead, all without informing us,” Pimenta told TV3.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

A spokeswoman for the local security authority that covers Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport said 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."

When authorities heard the couple had left the hotel, the head of the local security authority, Marianne Schuurmans, quickly signed an isolation order that empowered the Marechaussee police force to detain the couple.

"These people they are now in enforced isolation no longer in our municipality, but in a hospital elsewhere in the Netherlands," Faber said.

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Dutch military police arrested a husband and wife Sunday who had left a hotel where they were being quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19 and boarded a plane. Local media reported that the couple were trying to fly home to Spain. “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.” When authorities heard the couple had left the hotel, the head of the local security authority, Marianne Schuurmans, quickly signed an isolation order that empowered the Marechaussee

The couple said they appeared to have been caught up in the improvisation of travel rules that followed news of the new variant.

Authorities, citing privacy rules, declined to give more detail about the couple or whether they had tested positive for the Omicron variant.

Schuurmans told Dutch broadcaster WNL that "it is incomprehensible that people who had tested positive would do this."

Exterior view of the hotel in Badhoevedorp near Schiphol Airport, Netherlands, where Dutch authorities have isolated 61 people who tested positive for COVID-19 on two arriving flights originating from South Africa, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. Authorities are carrying out further investigations to see if any of the travelers have the omicron variant. Peter Dejong/AP Photo © Peter Dejong/AP Photo Exterior view of the hotel in Badhoevedorp near Schiphol Airport, Netherlands, where Dutch authorities have isolated 61 people who tested positive for COVID-19 on two arriving flights originating from South Africa, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. Authorities are carrying out further investigations to see if any of the travelers have the omicron variant. Peter Dejong/AP Photo

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These travelers are stranded over restrictions tied to the Omicron variant .
When Mick Sturla left for vacation to South Africa, he had no idea his eight-day stay at a safari lodge would turn into a mad dash to get back home to the United Kingdom and involve sleeping in a rental car underneath an airport terminal due to new and evolving restrictions tied to the Omicron coronavirus variant. © Courtesy Movin Jain The closed check-in counters Jain and his family encountered upon arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport. Mick, 73, and his wife Jan, 73, flew 11 hours from Heathrow Airport November 21 directly to O.R.

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