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Love is not Tourism - Hope for Couples kept apart for COVID 19

Love-is-not-Tourism600x400 Lovers at Eiffel Tower, Paris

“Have you wondered how other couples are handling social distancing, travel restrictions and quarantine? Wonder no more, read the article below and be informed about lovers around the world.”
-Sharon P. Chambers, Publisher
Caribnewsroom

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PARIS: Are the long months of lonesome waiting finally over?

Coronavirus travel restrictions have kept lovers and unmarried couples apart since the outbreak, but governments around the world are now showing more understanding of their plight, with some introducing measures to allow a happy and long-awaited reunion.

They last saw each other several months ago.

“At some point this will all come to an end. We know that much, but no one knows when, or how much harm it will have done,” the 50-year-old engineer told AFP, saying they have considered changing jobs, taking up studies again or even getting married in order to reunite.

Hope for couples kept apart by COVID-19, TravelWireNews | World News A Golden Statue at the Trocadero square near the Eiffel tower wears a protective mask in Paris, France, May 2, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Benoit Tessier)

The rules – judged unfair by melancholy lovers – prompted a worldwide social media campaign called “Love is not tourism”.

“It is obvious that we must halt tourism to protect us and others,” the lobby group said on a website set up to back the campaign.

“But love is not tourism. This is not just about a summer holiday, it is about mental health and the future of people all around the world.”

“TRAGIC”

Non-essential travel to the European Union remains prohibited from a number of countries, including the United States, with exceptions for EU citizens, residents and their families.

In theory, member states can choose to allow unmarried partners in documented relationships to enter the EU, but in practice few do so.

On Friday (Aug 7), the European Commission urged member states to end many couples’ torment and allow entry for unmarried partners of European citizens and residents.

Germany, which holds the rotating EU presidency, has sent a questionnaire quizzing the 27 member states on their policy.

READ: Denmark to let cross-border couples meet – if they show photos, love letters

A demonstrator holds a heart-shaped banner reading “Love is the answer” during a protest against the government’s restrictions amid the coronavirus outbreak, in Berlin, Germany, Aug 1, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)

Travel restrictions have prevented Emeric Tonri from returning from France to Vietnam where he lives with his wife and their four-year-old daughter.

“It’s tragic, I haven’t seen her since December,” said Tonri, who has worked in the southeast Asian country for the past six years.

Writer Lucie Azema had been living with her Azerbaijani boyfriend in Iran’s capital Tehran for over a year when the pandemic tore them apart.

For the past week, Azema has been waiting in Turkey in the hope of a loosening of the restrictions or a loophole that will allow her boyfriend to leave Azerbaijan.

But entries and exits from the ex-Soviet state remain strictly prohibited.

“TIME IS TICKING”

According to the Love Is Not Tourism movement, only 11 countries allow binational couples to meet up.

On Sunday, France became the latest to announce measures to put an end to these couples’ plight.

They will be able to apply for a pass to allow their partner to enter France, by presenting documents at their local consulate which prove common activities, their identity, residency in France for one of the two people concerned as well as a return ticket.

COMMENTARY: We cannot allow COVID-19 to disrupt our relationships too

A sign reading “Paris loves you” adorns one arrivals hall in the French capital’s Charles de Gaulle airport. (Photo: AFP/Ian Langsdon)

“This virus doesn’t like love. We do,” the minister in charge of tourism at the French foreign ministry, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, told Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

Frenchman Fabien Lefebvre, who has not seen his Iranian partner since February, welcomed the measures.

“But time is ticking, and the level of tension and despair is already very high,” Lefebvre told AFP.

“Many

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