Passengers stuck on plane in Amsterdam amid panic over ‘super mutant’ Covid — Analysis

The Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has banned passengers on two KLM South African flights to Amsterdam from being allowed to disembark at Schiphol Airport. With authorities fearing the spread of the ‘Nu’ variant of Covid-19, all on board are being tested.

NOS reports that the two planes touched down at Schiphol Airport Friday morning. However, passengers will have to wait for their turn. The 600 passengers who were subject to PCR testing will need to stay on board the aircraft or in another area of the airport until the results are back. Expect the final results around 8:30 on Friday night.

Both crew and passengers were taken by surprise when the order was given just before they touched down.

“The Johannesburg flight and also our Cape Town flight cannot enter the Netherands without any restrictions,”One of the pilots is heard talking to passengers in a video posted on social media. “What that means…that is what they are finding out right now.” 

South Africa is the epicenter of the ‘Nu’ variant of Covid-19, a strain of the virus that’s rapidly eclipsed the ‘Delta’ variant as the most commonly transmitted in parts of South Africa. Scientists are racing to learn more about the variant, but have some have suggested ‘Nu’ may be more transmissible than other variants, and could be resistant to the current crop of Covid-19 vaccines.

All passengers on both flights must have had their vaccinations up to date or had a positive Covid-19 test, as per Dutch government policy. 

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