Spain on the lookout for Dutch Covid-infected tourists who fled quarantine

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Spain on the lookout for Dutch Covid-infected tourists who fled quarantine
A group of tourists pull their trolleys at port in Ibiza on August 25, 2021 (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP)

Authorities in southwestern Spain have issued an international health alert to locate a group of Dutch tourists who left a hotel where they were meant to isolate for 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus.


Spain, which has one of Europe's highest vaccination rates, is readying more measures to deal with a recent uptick in new coronavirus infections just over one month away from a busy travel period for end-of-the-year family reunions.

Charo Espino, a spokeswoman for the health department in the Extremadura region, said Friday that seven of the nine Dutch tourists who had tested positive for COVID-19 had simply “disappeared”.


The central government's representative in the region, Yolanda García Seco, told local media that police were searching for the tourists and that airports were also on full alert in case they try to leave the country.

The group was travelling through Extremadura on Tuesday when some of them felt sick and stopped in Navas del Madroño, a town halfway between the regional capital, Cáceres, and the border with Portugal, for a test that confirmed their contagion, local councilor Denis Talavera told Extremadura TV.

The village of Navas del Madroño. Photo: Marbregal/Wikipedia The small town of Navas del Madroño. Photo: Marbregal/Wikipedia

“The tourists were staying at a local hotel and they had to keep the quarantine mandated by health authorities, but they didn’t," Talavera told the regional public broadcaster. “We don’t know how or when they left," he added.

A slight increase in new coronavirus infections has brought Spain's 14-day contagion rate over 100 new cases per 100,000 residents. Although that's still a far cry from the sharp spikes recorded in other European countries, some regional governments have approved, or are mulling, the use of mandatory “vaccine passports" to enter indoor public spaces, restaurants or nightclubs.

After hard-hitting COVID-19 waves in 2020 and early 2021 that killed thousands and strained the country's hospitals, Spain has fully vaccinated 89% of residents aged 12 or older.

This week, the government announced plans to widen the use of booster shots to people over 60 years, from 70 and older until now.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also