Dutch health authorities called for preflight Covid-19 tests regardless of vaccination status for travel from outside the EU, revealing that about 90% of the 62 people who tested positive on two flights from SA on November 26 had been vaccinated.
Under rules in place at the time, more than 600 passengers were able to board the KLM airline flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town with either proof of vaccination or recent negative Covid-19 test results.
A spokesperson for the health authority for Kennemerland, in which Schiphol airport is situated, said “around 90%” of those that tested positive had been vaccinated. KLM did not keep track of how individual passengers had met their preflight health requirements.
“By a combination of requiring tests before departure ... and retesting five days after arrival, and knowing what happened, you can make flight safer,” said Jaap van Dissel, the head of infectious diseases at the Dutch Institute for Health (RIVM), in testimony to parliament on Wednesday. He also recommended quarantine for travellers from high-risk areas.