Life— Travel n Tour

The desperate families still torn apart by Covid rules

(CNN) — When the European Union recently announced that vaccinated Americans will be allowed to enter the EU this summer, many US travelers celebrated, eager to dust off their passports for a long-awaited trip abroad.

But for many families in the EU separated from loved ones in non-EU countries — some for a year or longer — by those same border entry restrictions that will soon be lifted for some tourists, the news exacerbated feelings of outrage and isolation that have been building for many months.

“How do you even allow yourself as the government of a country or a union to decide that some people’s holiday plans are worth more than families being able to be brought back together?” said Alix Indigo Holmgaard — pictured above with her family — a Denmark citizen and mother of three who hasn’t seen her fiancé and stepdaughter in the UK since last year.

“I’ve been very supportive regarding restrictions, but my family has been torn apart.” Before the pandemic, Holmgaard, and her fiancé, a UK citizen and member of the British Army, would see each other almost every weekend. That “unconventional but very functional” relationship anchored their “international family,” she says.

“Denmark is where we have our house and our everyday family life,” she explained via text message while keeping an eye on her children. “It’s where we cook meals and tuck the kids in.”

But border closures and constantly shifting entry and quarantine restrictions over the last year have dashed that stability for Holmgaard’s family, as well as many others like hers who are spread across different countries and, sometimes, continents.

Increasingly, frustrated families are speaking out via movements such as Family Is Not Tourism. The initiative has gathered more than 20,900 signatures on its petition to lobby European Union governments to lift entry bans on third-country family members, saying such travel restrictions “[go] against the letter and spirit of EU legislation.” The petition was deemed admissible for preliminary investigation by the European Commission in February. But petition founder Kristina Henry-Machulskaya told CNN she has not received any status updates since then. Since March 2020, the European Union has recommended that individual countries, or member states, restrict non-essential travel by third-country nationals. A spokesperson from the European Parliament confirmed to CNN in an email. Member states are then responsible for implementing the recommendation’s content, the spokesperson said.
Gemma Broadhurst
Gemma Broadhurst is a 23-year-old computing student who enjoys extreme ironing, hockey and duck herding. She is kind and entertaining, but can also be very standoffish and a bit evil.She is an Australian Christian. She is currently at college. studying computing. She is allergic to milk. She has a severe phobia of chickens

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