Omicron Netherlands: 13 air passengers test positive for new varianton November 28, 2021 at 12:40 pm

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Thirteen people who travelled from South Africa to the Netherlands have tested positive for Omicron.

People wait in front of an "Appointment Desk" for quarantine and coronavirus disease (Covid-19) test appointments inside Schiphol Airport

Image source, Reuters

The new coronavirus variant Omicron has been detected in 13 people who arrived in the Dutch capital Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa.

They are among 61 passengers who tested positive for coronavirus.

It comes as tighter restrictions come into force in the Netherlands, amid record Covid cases and concerns over the new variant.

This includes early closing times for hospitality and cultural venues, and limits on home gatherings.

Omicron was first reported to the World Health Organization by South Africa on Wednesday, and early evidence suggests it has a higher re-infection risk.

The flights by Dutch national carrier KLM from Johannesburg arrived at 10:30 and 11:00 local time (09:30 and 10:00 GMT) on Friday.

The passengers who tested positive for Covid-19 have been quarantined at a hotel near Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

Those that tested negative have been asked to isolate at home for five days and take further tests, while those in transit were allowed to continue their journeys.

After announcing the 13 cases on Sunday, the Dutch health minister warned that there could be further cases of the new variant in the country.

Other European countries, including the UK, Germany and Italy, have also detected cases of the new variant.

A number of countries around the world have now banned or restricted flights to and from South Africa and several neighbouring nations in response to the new variant.

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