Dozens of A'dam high schoolers returned from Mallorca vacation with Covid
Dozens of high school students in Amsterdam were infected with the coronavirus while on their final exam trips to Mallorca in Spain. The exact number is not clear, municipal health institute GGD said to Het Parool.
At many Dutch schools it is traditional for final exam writers to holiday together after their first exams block, while awaiting their results. Spain and Portugal are popular destinations for these trips. Nationwide, over 200 teenagers between 15 and 19 tested positive for the coronavirus after their exam trips in Spain or Portugal, public health institute RIVM said on Tuesday.
So far, coronavirus infections have been confirmed at the Amsterdam Lyceum, the Sint Nicolaas Lyceum, the Vierde Gymnasium, the Berlage Lyceum, and the IVKO in Amsterdam. The schools with infected students are taking measures now that the second exams block is approaching. The Amsterdam Lyceum and Sint Nicolaas Lyceum, for example, are asking students without symptoms to do a self-test at home the night before their exams.
Arte Weggemans, a student at the Berlage Lyceum, told Het Parool that three of her group of six friends tested positive. On their last day on Mallorca, they learned that their neighbors tested positive for Covid-19 when they returned home. "A friend was already feeling pretty bad then, but we had hardly slept all week, so we thought it was because of that. At home she immediately did a rapid test, which was positive," Arte said "Maybe it was naive, but I didn't expect this. We all did a negative PCR test beforehand, so the infections must have happened on Mallorca."
Mallorca and Portugal currently have a "yellow" coronavirus warning, which means that travelers should be aware of extra measures and risks in the country related to the coronavirus pandemic. But returning travelers don't need to get tested for the coronavirus, or quarantine at home. Nevertheless, the GGD and RIVM are now urging students to get tested on their return. "We sent a letter to all secondary schools asking them to draw the attention of students and advise them to take a free PCR test upon their return," the GGD spokesperson said to the newspaper.
Between June 8 and 15, a total of 514 people tested positive for a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection who had traveled internationally within two weeks of their diagnosis. According to the RIVM, 191 of them visited Spain, and 134 visited Portugal. The next highest country on the list was Germany, with 29 positive tests.
Combined, these infections accounted for 3.6 percent of all positive tests in the Netherlands last week.