Coronavirus

During the coronavirus, the impossible reunion of binational couples

COUPLE – What has the government been proposing as a solution to separated binational couples since the start of the coronavirus epidemic? Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs, did not yet have an answer to the microphone of France Inter on July 29. Like this listener who asked him the question, thousands of couples in Europe are in this case: separated from their spouse and / or their children who are not in the Schengen area.

Morgane, 23, and Zack, 26, met two years ago in Nashville. She is a cybersecurity consultant in Paris, he is a student at MIT in Cambridge in the United States. Due to the border closures due to the covid-19 epidemic, they have not seen each other for almost 8 months.

For the HuffPost LIFE, they come back to this daily life which is becoming more and more difficult to live with, but do not give up. Morgane in Paris is struggling to find a solution, particularly by working with the government.

A separation that becomes more and more difficult to live with

“It’s difficult. It’s the longest separation we’ve ever had. We usually see each other every eight weeks. We had planned to meet again in Canada in March, but that obviously did not happen because of the lockdown, ”Morgane told the HuffPost LIFE as you can see in the video above. To keep in touch, the couple chat for hours on FaceTime and other online video chat tools. Aperitifs and dancing evenings are organized, trying to make these exchanges as realistic as possible despite the screen that separates them.

“There is a bit of exhaustion and a bit of frustration because when it all started in March, we initially thought that it would be maybe a few weeks and that we would meet again in May, then in June and finally in July. . It’s a bit tiring not knowing when exactly this will be resolved, ”Zack said.

Other European countries have found a solution

To find a solution, Morgane is part of the “Love is not tourism” movement born on social networks. This group brings together parents, children and unmarried spouses, one of whom is a non-European resident. Since the start of the epidemic, they have not been able to find each other and the time is starting to get long. They are asking the government “for an extension of so-called ‘essential’ travel waivers.”

After a demonstration on August 26 in front of the Invalides, the movement was received this Friday July 30 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior. Several couples whose spouse does not reside in France or in Europe, were received and heard. For the moment, no proposal has been made to them.

However, one option was considered, that of creating a pass to allow couples to reunite. But a problem arises. This solution might not encompass all requests, in particular those of couples who are not legally recognized, as is the case for Morgane and Zack: that is to say who are neither married nor in civil partnership, who are not have no joint accounts or leases in either name. The group remains mobilized and hopes to hear from them in the coming days.

But all is not lost. On August 1, Jean-Baptiste Lemoine, Secretary of State to the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, gave his full support to the “Love is not tourism” movement and alerted Emmanuel Macron to the situation.

Unlike France, Denmark, the Netherlands and even Switzerland have opened their borders to couples separated by the coronavirus, one of whom does not live in Europe.

See also on The HuffPost: These LDCs Abroad Halt During Coronavirus

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