Spanish ‘quarantine couple’ can go home, forced isolation lifted immediately


Mayor Schuurmans van Haarlemmermeer had them then forced into isolation. The Public Prosecution Service for the Northern Netherlands has not submitted the extension request for that stay to the court, their lawyer says, as a result of which ‘the isolation decisions have lapsed’.

No danger

The lawyer had demanded that his clients be released immediately because they no longer pose a threat to public health. “She has been tested negative several times, then the legal basis expires.”

Pimenta was still upset about the situation this afternoon before it was announced they were allowed to go. She and her boyfriend were treated “horribly,” she says. “Nobody tells us why we are here or how long we have to stay here. We are locked up, it is freezing cold, and the nurses are like robots. We only get food and drink, but are not informed further.”

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the couple had to deal with sewage problems late last night. They couldn’t go to the bathroom and their whole room reeked of poo and pee. When Pimenta asked if she could go to another toilet, she couldn’t. “One of the nurses told me to do it on the floor.”

Pimenta says that technicians were working on machines until four o’clock in the morning to solve the problems. She and her boyfriend were not allowed to leave their room all this time. “We couldn’t do anything, not go to the bathroom, not sleep. It was terrible.”

‘Treated badly’

A spokesperson for the rehabilitation center confirms that there were indeed sewage problems last night, but does not want to go into contact with patients. “A plumber came around 2 o’clock in the morning. After that, the problems were solved fairly quickly, cleaning was carried out and every room was given a potty chair.”

Quarantaineregels

The new virus variant omikron has changed the rules for people who have traveled in or from southern Africa. According to a spokesperson for the GGD, there are stricter measures that deviate from the rules on the RIVM website. These apply to all travelers from the following countries in Southern Africa: South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland (Eswatini), Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

  • All these people are subject to a 10-day quarantine obligation. In addition, these people are expected to have themselves tested at the GGD as soon as possible and on or after day 5 after arrival in the Netherlands. This also applies to people without complaints and to people who have been vaccinated or recovered from corona. If the test is negative on day 5, the quarantine may be lifted.
  • Stricter isolation rules also apply to a positively tested person with a travel history in southern Africa who has no complaints and is immune (vaccinated or recovered from corona). These people have to be in isolation for 5 days (‘normal’ is 3 days).
  • If you have been to a very high-risk area without a virus variant of concern, and have been fully vaccinated or recovered from the coronavirus, you do not have to quarantine for 10 days. You must, however, do a self-test on arrival in the Netherlands, before meeting others. If the test result of day 5 is negative, the home quarantine will stop. If you have not been fully vaccinated or have recovered from corona, test on day 2 and day 5 after arrival in the Netherlands.

There is a difference between isolation and quarantine. Isolation is performed in a closed ward of a designated hospital and is only for people who have been diagnosed or have reasonable grounds to believe they are suffering from an infectious disease.

On the website of the national government states in what other situations you have to go into quarantine.

Source: Central government/Public Prosecution Service

The couple’s lawyer, Bart Maes, finds it unimaginable that his clients have been treated in this way. He refers to the fact that Pimenta has tested positive once – on arrival in the Netherlands – but then negative three more times, and her boyfriend has been tested negative all this time. “Then the legal basis expires and it seems that the test result was false positive,” says Maes.

Damage claim

According to Maes, if it turns out that the decision has been taken unlawfully, the forced isolation will be given a ‘proper tail’. “Then you are dealing with deprivation of liberty and that is not cat piss. There will then be a considerable claim for compensation. My clients have been completely mangled and I do not understand what they have done criminally wrong.”

Poor communication

Pimenta and her boyfriend insist that a lack of information kept them from knowing they were doing something wrong. They never wanted to ‘run away’. Their story is in line with what other travelers on the same flight say about the lack of reception and the faltering communication.

A group of passengers who were placed in isolation at Schiphol on Friday wants the airport, KLM and the GGD Kennemerland to apologize and give a ‘good answer to the question of why they are so poorly organised’. Oscar van Overdam confirms this, who wrote a letter to all three authorities on behalf of more than twenty travelers.

GGD Kennemerland says that the operation was carried out under great time pressure, and that this took more time and effort than expected. “We could not use the existing test location at Schiphol, because it was a new variant of the corona virus. As a result, everything had to be set up from scratch. In the end, everything did not go as smoothly and quickly as we would have liked. We will therefore certainly sit down with everyone involved to learn from this.”


Source: RTL Nieuws by www.rtlnieuws.nl.

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