Trending under the hashtags #LoveIsEssential and #LoveIsNotTourism, Europe is considering rolling back travel restrictions for partners and lovers who may not be in a legally-recognizable relationship but wish to reunite. Does an EU exemption for lovers make sense?
EU Considers Lovers Exemption
Ylva Johansson, the European Union’s Commissioner for Home Affairs, has asked EU nations to apply a “wide definition” of partnership in order to allow temporarily-separated couples to re-unite.
I want to directly address and support the very committed and vocal #LoveIsEssential campaign.
I urge Member State authorities and indeed travel companies to apply as wide a definition of partnerships as possible.#LoveIsNotTourism
— Ylva Johansson (@YlvaJohansson) July 2, 2020
“The partner or ‘sweetheart’ with whom the Union citizen or legal resident has a durable relationship which is duly attested should be exempted from EU travel restrictions on non-essential travel.”
Across the EU, “legal” immediate family members have already been exempt from entrance bans, even if they come from high-risk regions. Denmark has already heeded Johansson’s call and now allows foreign partners, parents and children to enter under sworn statement…no further proof required. Some are already celebrating:
On Sunday I’ll see my partner again after 6 months separation. This is only possible because the Danish government a week ago opened up for non-EU partners. The recipe is simple: negative test at arrival or test+quarantine till negative result #DoLikeTheDanes #liftthetravelban https://t.co/4Ql7MidP7m
— Naya (@Naya1960) July 4, 2020
But momentum for such a move appears to be building. An Austrian member of European Parliament tweeted, “Because lovers should be able to see each other, despite [COVID-19] entry restrictions.”
Passend zum #TagDesKusses sage ich #LoveIsEssential. Denn: Liebenden sollte es möglich sein sich zu sehen, trotz Corona-Einreisebeschränkungen, Weil: #LoveIsNotTourism @eviholz und ich haben die Petition unterstützt: https://t.co/MD8uHn99Dk pic.twitter.com/41o60hIbZx
— Andreas Schieder (@SCHIEDER) July 6, 2020
A German one too, who sent out an individual tweet to every EU nation encouraging informal partners to be allowed in:
Corona must not limit love. Calling on the government of the #Netherlands to follow the EU-Commission’s recommendation to give love- and lifepartners equal rights as family members when traveling to the EU: #LoveIsNotTourism #loveisessential pic.twitter.com/7yXyjbIadN
— Moritz Körner (@moritzkoerner) July 3, 2020
Want to travel to Europe soon and find yourself banned? Your ticket may be a relationship with a European citizen.
It should be noted that while Europe mulls whether to relax the definition of family, many Europeans who have legally married their American partners are not allowed in the USA…
Alyssa 🇺🇸 and me 🇪🇸 have been separated for 5 months. I came back to Spain just to get the marriage visa, which was granted to me. However, even in possession of a K-1 fiancé visa with the travel ban my trip to the USA is considered non-essential. #LoveIsNotTourism pic.twitter.com/6iXsuQ64ad
— jordi 💍 alyssa (@AlyssaJordi) July 2, 2020
That’s the truly sad news here.
Do you think Europe should be open to couples and their families who claim to be together and have not formally tied the knot?
Reach out and infect the ones you love…
Half-ass travel bans with exceptions all over the place will not help anyone.
Agreed lol I think it’s quite stupid this ban won’t lift for workers like pease malt it make sense !!
I’m not sure I get this. How is it that corona virus isn’t a problem when it comes to migration and never-ending protests … but when it comes to cultural celebration and to making a living, better be sure the police will arrest you, Twitter will doxx you, and you’ll get fired.
How Trumpian an “argument” – too bad it’s not true: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/06/30/black-lives-matter-protests-did-not-cause-an-uptick-in-covid-19-cases
Well, it did where I live.
As I said, you’re someone whose sole operation is to sow division and hatred. I suggest you find someone else to harass; it’s getting deranged at this point.
The title of this post is “EUROPE CONSIDERS TRAVEL BAN EXEMPTION FOR “LOVERS”. Yet you come on here sowing division and hatred, bringing non-sequitur like migration and BLM, just for the hell of it.
Talk about a Russian bot…
@Matthew, as I said, this troll is obvious.
William, I appreciate your readership and your comments. You are most welcome here. So is UA-NYC, who has indeed been reading my blog for over a decade. He’s a good guy. Let’s keep it polite and look for ways we can move forward together.
Why is it guys like @William Y. throw out accusations, sow discord, and then, when responded too, grab their snowflake ankles and scream that the other person is doing it?
Alright, Matt – I’m out. If clicks are so important you’ll let a deranged (possibly paid) shill destroy civility here, I’ll vote with my feet. Ben already succumbed to the army of agitprop, sad to see you go the same way.
Ben heavily censors comments. I have chosen not to. As long as you do not use vulgar language or profanity, I don’t block comments. Some think you are a troll, you think others are trolls, and I simply see a picture of the division that exists in America today. I’m not blocking people. I try to encourage civil dialogue here. I hate to see the personal insults. But I hope you can appreciate that I’m going to treat you all as adults and let you talk out your disagreements.
Great note Matthew!
I will say – as an avid reader of several of the “main” travel blogs for over a decade, there is certainly a *different type* of poster who started to appear post-November 2016; will leave it at that.
I personally think it’s time to end all of the Covid travel bans and restrictions. They proved ineffective at halting the spread and there is no reason to think that continuing them makes any meaningful contribution at this point.
Obviously there are exceptions like New Zealand where they essentially prevented the virus from entering. But Europe is not in that boat.
Agreed. Honestly, just have testing available at airports like FRA, VIE, and MUC, OR make it so you have to come with one showing negative. I get the EU not wanting throngs. But if you develop a few hurdles it will keep those throngs out while still keeping some semblance of movement for those who need to and are willing to navigate the hurdles.
Honestly, the EU ruling was lazy. Understandable, but lazy. Travel restrictions seem pretty irrelevant unless we’re talking an island like New Zealand or Hawaii like you say.
Matt, thanks for your work here. New to the blog but have a woman I’ve been dating based in Athens for awhile now, and have been trying to get there to see here, as well as some relatives and spend time in the country I have roots in. Do you know what sort of documents/proof or attestation would be needed if/when this gets passed? Assuming photos, um receipts? texts? I mean I don’t necessarily mind but wondering how intrusive this will be or what hoops we’ll have to jump through. The Greek bureaucracy is infamous.. But wondering if this will be at an EU level where and how we would go about this. ps. nice stipple.
There is no doubt that if the current administration (I just can’t even type his name anymore) gets off their butts and opens travel FROM the EU that there will be more exemptions allowed the other way.
Well that’s one way to solve your earlier post today:
“QANTAS FLIGHT ATTENDANTS WILL SERVE AS HOTEL QUARANTINE WARDENS AFTER SECURITY GUARD TRYSTS.”
I’ve even heard of something called “COVID Porn”.
Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings! 😉
Absolutely not. As an EU-U.S. dual-citizen, I know Americans would abuse this exemption.
The solution is simple: the U.S. drops its travel ban against EU citizens and fixes its appalling public health situation.
James, who would want to travel to the USA right now? Serious question. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I do think the US should drop the ban immediately.
@Matthew, I suspect quite a few <age 70-ish Europeans who enjoy U.S. destinations — whether Orlando, Miami, Vegas, NYC, or national parks — would be more than willing to "risk" coronavirus for good travel deals in the U.S. Of course, if they would face quarantine upon return, they might be dissuaded — but it really seems like most European quarantine policies are basically voluntary at this point, especially for EU passport holders who receive less scrutiny at the border.
I have German friends looking to come the moment the ban is dropped. They are very adventurous travelers, and they were sent home on a repatriation flight from a Caribbean cruise in March when this all started.
I would. I miss you guys. Coming over as soon as borders open.
No way Trump drops the EU ban first. That would risk angering his America-first base, which he can’t afford to do right now. If the EU doesn’t want to drop their ban unilaterally, it shouldn’t be to hard to arrange something where they both drop their bans at the same time, and they can each spin it like their saving face.
And telling the US to fix their healthcare system is rather naive (assuming you’re being serious) or arrogant (if you’re being condescending). Americans have been arguing about this for decades. It’s not going to get fixed all of a sudden because of the coronavirus.
@Brian, not joking. The U.S. health care situation is a human rights catastrophe for Americans and a public health threat for the world. I’d support the EU using what weapons it has to shame and force Americans to fix it.
Are you delusional? You can’t possibly think EU pressure will have the desired effect. The Republicans (and their voters) will NEVER allow ANY external pressure from the EU (or anybody else) to have any impact on what they view as an internal American matter. If anything, external pressure will only make them dig in their heels. Any attempt to shame or force Americans into doing what you want will have the exact opposite effect, especially with Trump in the White House.
Would this lover’s exception include servicing clients?
I was counting on you for a reference to “the other Karen.” LOL!
I think there’s some validity in recognizing the value and importance of a non martial relationship. People who may might not subscribe to conventional marital norms can still raise children and constitute a family unit just the same as people who have chosen to have a little ceremony/party to announce their love or whatever.
Frankly, I don’t actually see what I stand to gain from marriage that I couldn’t otherwise share with a person in a relationship to whom I’m not married.
As someone who is in a serious relationship with my girlfriend who lives in Costa Rica, this has been ard on both of us. Very frustrating as I cannot visit her and I’m not looking to visit for tourism. I wish they would make exceptions for family members and significant others who can prove a negative test and that they have someone to stay with. I feel that governments don’t care about people who are in this situation. Makes me very frustrated and upset.
Hope this didn’t double post, but not sure I commented on the right thread:
Matt, thanks for your work here.
New to the blog but have a woman I’ve been dating based in Athens for awhile now, and have been trying to get there to see here, as well as some relatives and spend time in the country I have roots in. Do you know what sort of documents/proof or attestation would be needed if/when this gets passed? Assuming photos, um receipts? texts? I mean I don’t necessarily mind but wondering how intrusive this will be or what hoops we’ll have to jump through. The Greek bureaucracy is infamous.. But wondering if this will be at an EU level where and how we would go about this.
ps. nice stipple.
Constantine! So glad you found my blog. Great comment in the Hagia Sophia story. My understanding is that only a sworn statement will be necessary.
I got engaged in December and we were planning on getting married in the spring. If I can’t be on the same continent as my fiance, I can’t marry him. It’s a horrible situation.