Couple accused of escaping Covid quarantine in November demand €50,000 in compensation
The Spanish-Portuguese couple who left a quarantine hotel near Schiphol airport are demanding an apology and 50,000 euros in damages, according to de Volkskrant.
Carolina Pimenta (28) and Andrés Sanz (30) arrived in the Netherlands on a flight from Cape Town in late November. The 624 passengers on the flight were kept in a remote part of Schiphol Airport for nearly a day and tested for coronavirus after it became known that the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus was discovered in South Africa. Then, the couple was placed in quarantine alongside dozens of other passengers at a hotel in Badhoevedorp.
Pimenta and Sanz left the hotel where they were quarantined, despite requests to remain there. They were subsequently detained on a flight leaving the Netherlands and placed in forced quarantine at the University Medical Center Groningen’s Beatrixoord location in Haren. After two negative tests each, they were eventually released.
Their arrest and detention was based on a public health law stating that people who are unwilling to follow isolation measures can be hospitalized as a quarantine measure if they are considered to be a serious threat to public health. The couple disputes that they posed such a threat and denies that they fled.
"We were treated like dogs in the Netherlands," Pimenta told de Volkskrant. “After a wonderful stay in South Africa, we ended up in a nightmare that lasted more than five days. It is high time someone said, ‘Sorry, we were wrong.'”
The couple’s objection is the first step in legal proceedings and will be handled within a few months by the Kennemerland Security Region. They are represented by Bart Maes, a lawyer often involved in coronavirus-related lawsuits.