(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.