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Dozens of vacationers arriving within the Netherlands from South Africa check optimistic for Covid-19


Aerial view taken on Oct. 29, 2021, reveals parked airplane on the tarmac at Schiphol airport, close to Amsterdam.

Arthur Van Der Kooij | ANP | AFP through Getty Photographs

Dutch well being authorities stated on Saturday they’d detected 61 Covid-19 instances amongst individuals who flew from South Africa on Friday and had been now conducting additional testing to see whether or not any are contaminated with the just lately found Omicron variant.

The instances had been found amongst round 600 passengers who arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on two flights on Friday earlier than the Dutch authorities halted air visitors from southern Africa as a consequence of issues over the variant.

The passengers from the flights had been saved separated from different vacationers and people who examined optimistic are being saved in isolation at a lodge close to the airport.

A spokesperson for the Dutch well being ministry stated it will not be recognized till later Saturday whether or not any of the passengers are contaminated with the brand new variant.

A spokesperson for KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France, stated the airline was making an attempt to find out what guidelines had been in place as of Friday morning to forestall folks with Covid-19 infections from boarding the flights, which departed from Cape City and Johannesburg.

Guidelines on the corporate’s web site stated passengers needed to current a detrimental Covid-19 “speedy antigen” check end result taken 24 hours earlier than departure however weren’t required to indicate proof of vaccination.

A spokesperson for the well being authorities in Kennemerland, the Dutch area that oversees Schiphol, stated the optimistic instances had been being analyzed by the Nationwide Institute for Well being (RIVM).

Lengthy wait

Passengers on the 2 KLM flights stated they had been saved ready on the tarmac for hours.

“Vigorous applause as a result of there’s a BUS that has come to take us … someplace,” tweeted New York Instances journalist Stephanie Nolen, a passenger on the flight from Johannesburg, through the lengthy wait on Friday.

“Bus to a corridor to an enormous queue. I can see Covid testers in shiny blue PPE far on the space. Nonetheless no snacks for the unhappy infants,” she added in a second tweet.

On Saturday, Nolan tweeted that she examined detrimental and was awaiting an additional flight to Canada. Passengers remaining within the Netherlands are required to quarantine at house for five days.

The new variant has been detected simply as many European nations are grappling with a surge in coronavirus instances.

The Dutch authorities on Friday announced the nighttime closure of bars, eating places and most shops because it tries to curb a record-breaking wave of Covid-19 instances that’s swamping its healthcare system.