Travellers from South Africa required to quarantine in hotels if positive for Covid
Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus out of about 600 passengers who returned from South Africa will be required to quarantine in a hotel, the GGD Kennemerland said. It concerns only those passengers who departed on two KLM aircraft from South Africa before the Netherlands implemented a flight ban from that country, but who landed in the Netherlands after the announcement on Friday.
"The hotel isolation period will last seven days for people with symptoms,” a spokesperson said. Those without symptoms, who also do not develop symptoms during the quarantine period, will be allowed to self-isolate at home. Results of tests were still unavailable at 9:15 p.m.
It is not known which hotel or hotels are involved. "It is already clear that security will be present," the spokesperson stated.
Travelers will receive the results of their coronavirus tests over the course of the evening. If they test positive for the SARS-CoV-2 infection, further investigation must be carried out to determine whether it concerns the new, presumably more contagious variant that has been spreading in South Africa. That research is being conducted by the Erasmus University or the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.
Those in quarantine will be obliged to wait for the second result. All other travellers from the two aircraft must quarantine at home, even if they receive a negative test result.
The GGD Kennemerland is responsible for testing travellers at Schiphol. The passengers from the two aircraft, which landed shortly after each other, were kept separate from other people at the airport.
One aircraft arrived from Cape Town and landed at Schiphol at around 10:30 a.m. The other flight, from Johannesburg, arrived at about 11 a.m.
It is rare for people to be forced to remain in a hotel, particularly when they have their own home here in the Netherlands. In October 2020, a quarantine hotel was set up in Haren, Groningen for asylum seekers infected with coronavirus. At the time they were residing in one of the asylum seekers' centers in the three northern provinces of the country. A group of predominantly older Dutch people were also trapped in a quarantine hotel on the Italian island of Sardinia for a long time last month.
Reporting by ANP.