Dutch health authorities say that more than 20 passengers who have been in quarantine since testing positive for COVID-19 after flying from South Africa on November 26 will be allowed to leave on Thursday.
A spokesman for the health authority for Kennemerland, in which Schiphol airport is situated, said authorities will not disclose whether any of the 14 passengers found to be infected with the Omicron variant of the virus are being released, citing privacy reasons.
They will also not disclose or discuss the seriousness of those patients’ symptoms, the spokesman added, also citing privacy reasons.
The GGD tested more than 600 passengers who arrived on two flights that had departed from Johannesburg and Cape Town on Friday, before the Dutch government changed its rules on air traffic from southern Africa because of concerns over the Omicron variant.
Results of follow-up tests on Monday mean that more than half of those who had been held at the hotel are now free to continue their travels, a GGD statement said.
The discovery of Omicron, dubbed a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, has sparked worries around the world that it could resist vaccinations and prolong the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dutch health authorities are also trying to contact and test about 5,000 other passengers who have travelled from countries in southern Africa since November 20. Those tests have so far discovered two additional Omicron cases.
The video below is on EU countries restricting travel to Southern Africa over concerns about a new coronavirus variant: