The temporary closure of borders with England has shaken many people’s plans for the holiday season. Testimonials from French immigrants in England but also from English in Montpellier.
A new strain of Kovid-19, “more infectious”, has been detected in the UK and further distracts the holiday season for the British. London and the South-East of England were again confined for a few days. Several European countries have decided to postpone their flights with the United Kingdom, while France has suspended all people from the United Kingdom for 48 hours.
Protect your loved ones
A situation that has prompted many migrants to review their plans for these end-of-year celebrations. This is the case with Jeanette, she is the director of the American Center in Montpellier, and it is the first time that she celebrates Christmas without her relatives. He left his native Yorkshire 29 years ago to settle in Montpellier. But every year with her two daughters, a return to the country marks the end of the year: “This year is very special because we usually take a car and go to the north of England to meet the whole family and this year it is not possible. “
If he decided not to travel, it was to protect his family. The suspension of relations between France and the United Kingdom confirmed his choice.
We had a lot of thinking with my family and since my elderly parents live in the north of England, they are really in the front line to get the vaccine right away. They should also be in the coming weeks or days. So we told ourselves to wait a while and make sure not to take any risk.
Even if the decision was carefully considered, the English woman feels a touch of indifference: “The Christmas atmosphere for us is really England, we don’t really feel like Christmas in the south of France. But there it starts to look ugly, so it slowly gets us in the mood. “
Living in and away from her Christmas atmosphere in England, Jeantete will still be able to enjoy Christmas in a small committee with her two daughters.
Believe the magic of christmas
For others, for Baptists, far from being an option, living in England is an obligation: “My situation is simple, explain to the young man, I had to take a plane for a month yesterday and it was canceled since the postponement of travel from France for 48 hours. I was able to take my plane for free until 24 December. For a certain amount of time, to make sure that I have done the PCR test this morning. It is not very pleasant, but this game is. I gave myself all opportunities to try to return with my plane on Thursday afternoon.“
Originally from Castelnaudary (Oude), he moved to London a year ago to live his dream of becoming a rugby coach. Her only wish today: to celebrate Christmas with her relatives: “If I were to live here, it would have been a nightmare, I have friends here but hey, it doesn’t taste like it, this would be the first time I would celebrate Christmas away from my loved ones. It makes me feel so weird, so I will try to get off in every way. I will try to believe the magic of Christmas and cross my fingers with my plane.“
Kovid, Brexit and end of year celebrations
But for William, a young Englishman who had recently arrived in Montpellier, even though it was not easy, he made his choice and would not return to his family for the holidays: “I decided that I would not retreat, this is mainly to protect my family. My father is a diabetic and my grandmother is over 80 and I would like to protect her.“
Another event that has shaken the calendar: Brexit will officially take effect from 31 December. There is no question of the young man taking the risk of remaining stranded in England. Another reason that forces youngsters to spend their Christmas alone: ”It’s a bit sad, but we’re going to do a Christmas video with my father, who is also alone. This is the first time that I am going to spend Christmas alone, and in a country other than mine. At the moment I am generally unhappy, I miss my family a lot. I know that my mother, my younger brother and my grandmother are still together, they are preparing for Christmas and I really want to be with them. “
For some, Christmas will have a special taste: nostalgia may invite itself to the expat table.