Canada has been removed from the list of countries whose travelers are allowed on the territory of the European Union, which cuts the grass under the feet of some globetrotters who were soon flying to the Old Continent.
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“We knew [mercredi] at the end of the day that from Saturday, the flights will have to be canceled, but nothing has yet been 100% confirmed, ”said Tina Beaulieu, owner of Voyages NT Air.
“Due to a sharp rise in cases of COVID-19 infection, Georgia, Canada and Tunisia have been removed from the list” of countries whose travelers are allowed to enter, said a European diplomatic source to AFP. The procedure should be formally approved by Friday.
“I had limp legs when I was sent the article,” says Alexa Blouin, who was leaving on November 9 for Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia. She was going to visit a friend who now lives in this overseas territory of France.
“I’m waiting to see if this will affect my trip. It would be disappointing, I needed this vacation and it took a lot of planning, ”she says.
For example, the 34-year-old mother had meticulously organized her return quarantine: her partner would take care of the three children in the morning while a friend would look after them in the evening.
For her part, Eva had planned to visit her family in Bosnia and Herzegovina in November. “There is no direct flight to Bosnia. I made a stopover in Switzerland on the way there and then in Germany on the way back, ”she explains.
“It’s been 10 years since I saw them. I am really disappointed, I was preparing to leave, ”adds the twenty-something.
Each country will decide
The adopted recommendation is not binding: each Member State is responsible for controlling its borders and the travelers it allows to enter its territory.
However, the EU tries to coordinate on its external borders, given the principle of freedom of movement within the Schengen area, which has 22 Member States of the European Union and 4 associated States: Iceland, Liechtenstein , Norway and Switzerland.
-With Agence France Presse
Few in Europe
Even though traveling to most European countries was still accessible, few tourists chose these destinations in times of pandemic, forcing travel agencies to reinvent themselves.
“The sales we make are mainly people who go there for work, family or school reasons. Travelers who leave for their leisure are very marginal, ”explains Christian Guillet, Managing Director at Voyage Louise Drouin.
News that Canadian travelers will no longer be admitted to Europe will dampen his sales a bit, he believes. “But they are already anemic,” said Mr. Guillet, adding that there was still some demand for countries like France, Switzerland and Portugal.
Before the pandemic, travel to Europe represented 80% of revenue at Terre d’Aventure, which forced the Montreal agency to reinvent itself. “This announcement gives us reason to focus on our travel offers in Quebec and Canada,” explains director Jad Haddad, who has developed guided tours in Western Canada, a very popular destination.