They love each other but Covid has torn them apart

They love each other but Covid has torn them apart

Paris (CNN) – When Riette Badenhurst got home from her cancer surgery in South Africa, all of her fiance Steve Mann could comfort her on the phone all the way from the UK. Ribbet wished he had stayed with her.

“Helping friends and family, but it’s not the same,” she tells CNN. “Video call helps, but it’s not the same …. We want to hold each other when someone is sad and feels overwhelmed.”

Badenhurst and Mann began dating in 2016 and became engaged three years later. They did not see each other in more than a year, even after being diagnosed with Badenhurst cancer.

They are among the many unmarried couples of different nationalities who, aside from the coronovirus travel ban, will spend this year’s Valentine’s Day in addition to their loved ones.

It began last March when growing concerns over the virus prompted the United States to ban most travelers to the Schengen region of Europe and Brazil.

Many other countries Banned his travel. Most gave up, but only to the spouse – leaving unmarried partners and their families in balance.

Unconventional families split up

Reca Lane Elizabeth-1

Resca Morkada, left with Elizabeth Ann Cohen and Cohen’s son Len.

Courtesy Elizabeth Ann Cohen

Since 2016, Elizabeth Ann Cohen has traveled from Oklahoma to the Philippines four times a year with her fiancé Reca Moradada. Her son Lane – one of her five children with her ex-husband Ed – even came with him twice.

Cohen tells CNN, “We consider it a family for ourselves, it may be unconventional but it’s our family, and it was fantastic for four and a half years.”

With both the Philippines and the United States imposed strict travel restrictions, Cohen and Morcada have not seen each other in more than a year.

Cohen writes to her partner on Facebook, “I can’t wait for your Oklahoma family to come home.” “We need you and you will miss us.”

‘Ancient rule’

offely epain-1

Offaly Appen has been unable to see his Sri Lankan partner Januk de Silva in almost eight months.

Courtesy Offeli Appan

More than half of American millennials are not married, and those who marry do so later in life, according to A. Pew Research Center Survey. same The trends Is seen in Europe.

“It’s not there anymore since 1850,” says Offaly Appain, a French Londoner who has been unable to see his Sri Lankan partner in nearly eight months. “We need to go beyond this archaic rule that only recognizes couples when they are married.”

She states that separate rules for uncapped couples are “out of age, in a world of globalization, which until now has allowed us to move freely, meet someone and love people who are not of the same nationality.” “

“You can certainly have couples who are very committed, who have been together for years and who have not been married; or couples who are not able to live in the same country for any reason, it’s just the world. Is a product of, “adds American Maggie Foster, who falls in love with Alexandre Portier, a French doctoral student.

“Now, it has been discontinued without any consideration given to the truly enormous effects on the lives of some people,” he continues.

Fighting for recognition

“Quickly, the group exploded like that,” she says. Its members joined forces with other such groups Love not tourism And lobbying of elected representatives to waive the rules for unmarried couples – the so-called sweetheart exemption.
In July, Denmark was the first country to grant Sweetheart discount. Other countries, including Austria, the Netherlands, Germany and France, the European Commission encouraged all countries to enter unmarried couples.

“I’m very proud of what I’ve done,” says Foster. “It became this organic grassroots movement, we forced governments to pay attention to us. European governments were a lot more sensitive than the US.”

Various processes

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Betrice Violet and Jackson Williams have been given a sweetheart exemption by France.


While Denmark only asks for one Signed declarationFrance required extensive documents, including the history of relationships, photographs of the couple, passport tickets from simultaneous visits, anything “proving a romantic relationship with a French citizen at least six months before the borders”, according to its foreign ministry. is.

According to official figures, France has exempted 2,570 girlfriends. Among the lucky couples were French pharmacist Beatrice Vialex and American opera singer Jackson Williams.

“We made a 31-page file with everything we found, a signed letter, our photos, passport tickets, everything,” says Vileks. “It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.”

Jackson and Beatis Docs-1

Some documents required by Jackson Williams and Baytris Violet to prove their relationship.


After a reunion with Williams in Paris on January 30, Vileks said, “I am so grateful that we have this opportunity to see each other in the epidemic – for us I think it was a lot easier than other couples. “

Keep reporting

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Jasmin Jasper, right, is moving to New York to reunite with partner Anthony Pototsky.

Courtesy Jasmin Jasper and Anthony Pototsky

Coronavirus travel restrictions change weekly. After opening its borders last summer, the first wave of infection faded, European countries began Closing them again.

On 4 February, France said it would stop exempting unmarried couples, so as to prevent the proliferation of new variants.

France’s foreign ministry told CNN that it would only resume the process “based on health conditions”. Netherlands also stopped Permission for long distance couples in the country.

“Most of the time, I try not to look on social media about travel rules because if it’s bad, it will make me feel bad,” says Italo-German dancer Jasmin Jasper.

“But at the same time, I want to be informed about it 24/7.”

Jasper spoke to CNN from a hotel in Chern, where she was spending two weeks in New York to be able to reunite with her boyfriend Anthony Pototsky.

Jasper and Pototsky-1

“We just want to be with our loved ones, build their lives and build their families.” Jasmine Jasper says, right.

Courtesy Jasmin Jasper and Anthony Pototsky

Serbia is not currently on the US travel ban list, meaning Jasper should be able to travel to the United States after more than 14 days in Belgrade, unless the rule changes.

Requirements for all travelers are constantly changing, with countries adopting new policies such as self-funded hotel quarantine or test before departure and after arrival. Making the journey more complicated, Jasper hopes it will pave the way for countries to safely reopen borders.

She says, “We are committed to testing, keeping everyone safe.” “We don’t want to get sick; we don’t want to let others get sick. We just want to be with our loved ones, build our lives and build our family.”

looking ahead

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Spain’s Xavier and his Kazakhstan fiance Nazim have been under house arrest since late 2019.

Courtesy Xavier D

In December 2019, when Xavier returned to Spain after a holiday with Qaza Nazim, he proposed to her.

“We were very happy in our countries, dreaming of life together,” Xavier, who did not want to give his surname for personal reasons, tells CNN.

But, he says, the life project “has been paralyzed for over a year, with the uncertainty of knowing how long it will last, and the pain of getting away in this difficult time.”

“The dream of being able to share our lives, start our family and share the future together keeps us strong and full of energy to fight day by day.”

With the strengthening of border restrictions, some long-distance binocular couples are rethinking life-planning in their quest for greater security.

Some are giving at the conference and even planning a wedding.

“A lot of couples are now considering getting married, which is ironic,” says Maggie Foster.

Ana Lieberman from New York was lucky enough to go on a trip to her partner Clement Roux in France in December. Still, both told CNN that the epidemic had reviewed their priorities.

Although Roux loves his job in Paris, Pandemic makes him realize that he must “hurry” to stay close to Liberman and try.

Liberman says: “We’ve both given a lot of thought to what our next step is after the epidemic, so we don’t have to go through this again.”




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