Friday 30 September 2022

14% of passengers from South Africa are still testing positive for Covid

Photo: Brandon Hartley

Some 14% of passengers arriving in the Netherlands from South Africa over the past five days have tested positive for coronavirus, regional health board GGD Kennemerland said on Friday.

That is a rise on last week, when 9% of passengers tested positive in the voluntary checks at the airport, but it is too early to speak of a trend, the health board said.

People travelling from South Africa to the Netherlands are required to show a negative PCR test before boarding and are ‘urgently recommended’ to have a second test at Schiphol. Around half of the arrivals on the two flights a day take advantage of this.

The health board said it did not know if passengers had been vaccinated or if they were infected with the Omicron variant of the virus. It did say, however, that it will continue to operate the special test centre at Schiphol until Christmas at least.

All arrivals from South Africa are supposed to go into quarantine on arriving in the Netherlands for at least five days, or longer if they test positive for the virus.

Health minister Hugo de Jonge said last week that there would be proper checks to make sure people did stay at home.

Anyone caught breaking quarantine after arriving from a very high-risk country faces a €339 fine. ‘Anyone who can go home can quarantine there safely,’ he said. ‘There will be phone calls and checks on the doorstep.’

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