On Sunday, the Dutch military police hunted down two foreign nationals who dared to escape from quarantine camps in a desperate attempt to return to their home countries.
According to the head of the local security authority, mayor Marianne Schuurmans, the married couple was forced to quarantine in a COVID hotel (essentially a more comfortable prison) after one of them tested positive for COVID-19 having recently visited South Africa.
The husband, a Spanish man, and his wife, a Portuguese woman, booked a flight to Spain after being told to quarantine, obviously not wanting to be held hostage for two weeks in a foreign country.
However, as if they were concentration camp guards, the military police acted quickly and tracked the two down before their flight took off.
On Twitter, the military police confirmed they had “arrested a couple this evening who had fled from a quarantine hotel. The arrests took place in a plane that was about to take off. Both persons have been transferred to the [municipal health services].”
Reports say that the couple left at roughly 6 p.m., after which police contacted the airport in hopes of preventing the two from escaping.
Schuurmans adds that she was shocked that anyone dared to defy the state, assuming that everyone would just go along with the Netherland’s oppressive COVID policies.
“We were really taken by surprise that people don’t take this seriously,” she said.
Local security authorities are now deciding whether to prosecute the couple over breaking with the ‘non-obligatory’ quarantine.
“Quarantine is not obligatory, but we assume people will act responsibly,” spokeswoman Petra Faber said. “But there was a couple that wanted to go home, and they tried to fly home. The Royal Marechaussee took them off the plane and handed them back to the local health authority.”
“These people, they are now in enforced isolation no longer in our municipality but in a hospital elsewhere in the Netherlands,” Faber said.