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Love in the Time of Corona: Hope for Distanced Couples as Travel Restrictions Ease

August 13, 2020, 11.22 PM

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

Read also: Greece Tightens Coronavirus Restrictions for EU Tourists

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

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.

Since the outbreak, Azema has been stuck in France and her boyfriend in his home country, where he fled to escape the worsening health crisis in Iran.

"We're being worn down, as we can see the situation isn't getting better and it could well go on for another year," Azema told AFP.

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 bi-national 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.

Read also: Travel Agents and Airlines in Indonesia Go Through Turbulence from Pandemic


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