The couple accused of escaping their isolation hotel in the Netherlands complains forced quarantine is 'worse than a prison'

·2 min read
Passengers who arrived from South Africa wait at Schiphol Airport for instructions on testing and quarantine.
People wait in front for quarantine and COVID-19 test appointments inside Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands in November 2021.REUTERS/Eva Plevier/File Photo
  • The couple who escaped a COVID-19 lockdown in the Netherlands say their new forced quarantine is "worse than a prison."

  • Andrés Sanz and Carolina Pimenta were required to quarantine after Pimenta tested positive for COVID-19 after a trip to South Africa.

  • The couple managed to escape and made it all the way to a plane bound for Spain before Dutch police arrested them.

The couple who were accused of escaping their COVID-19 quarantine in the Netherlands told the BBC that their new forced isolation is "worse than a prison."

The couple — a Spanish man, Andrés Sanz, and a Portuguese woman, Carolina Pimenta — are still being held in the Netherlands after they slipped out of their hotel and boarded another plane after Pimenta tested positive for COVID-19.

The pair are being kept in a tuberculosis hospital in the country, the BBC reported.

"Last night, the sewage overflowed in our bathroom," Pimenta said in an interview with the BBC. "Now they tell us I have to wait and do another PCR test tomorrow."

She continued: "We went on a dream holiday in Africa and now we are living a nightmare. We are watching the world say we are criminals with a story that is just a lie. We feel alone and abandoned."

Pimenta, along with 60 others, was asked to quarantine in a hotel after testing positive for COVID-19 after they arrived from South Africa.

Fourteen of those cases were identified to be the new Omicron variant, according to the BBC.

Though Sanz tested negative, the pair wanted to stay together, so he joined her in quarantine, the BBC reported. She claims that the positive test result was a false-positive.

The couple slipped out of their hotel on Sunday. They showed a negative supermarket-bought antigen test as proof to make it all the way onto a plane.

The plane was about to take off for Spain when Dutch national police caught them, authorities said.

While the quarantine was voluntary, officials were able to detain the couple because of their responsibility to isolate in the interest of public health, the BBC reported.

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