A Dutch couple was arrested after allegedly attempting to bust out of a COVID-quarantine hotel.
Both had tested positive for COVID after flying from Johannesburg, the Dutch military police reported on Sunday. They tried to flee the quarantine facility but were arrested "in an airplane that was about to depart," authorities said.
The pair were part of a group of 61 passengers who flew out of the South African city and tested positive for COVID-19. Thirteen of the 61 tested positive for the Omicron variant. It's unclear if the couple also tested positive for the Omicron variant.
TWO OMICRON COVID-19 CASES REPORTED IN CANADA
The couple, a Spanish man and Portuguese woman, had attempted to fly to Spain, reports the Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool.
The majority of those tested were asked to quarantine in a hotel. However, Dutch residents were allowed to quarantine at home.
The Netherlands entered an extended partial lockdown on Sunday, forcing local businesses to close earlier and placing a limit on the number of guests allowed in homes.
The Omicron variant was declared a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization after doctors reported its existence in South Africa. Several nations, including the United Kingdom and the United States, have placed restrictions on travel to South Africa and other African countries due to concerns about the variant.
Not everyone is pleased with the travel bans. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday that he was "deeply disappointed" by the action and called for the bans to be lifted.
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The World Health Organization Africa Director Matshidiso Moeti echoed those concerns, arguing that the travel bans attack "global solidarity."
Angelique Coetzee, the South African doctor who warned South African authorities about the new variant, claims that all cases she has observed of the virus have been mild so far and that "currently there's no reason for panicking."