Algeria : more than 40 000 French returnees since march - The Point

" The hardest thing is not knowing when you will return. "Sophie, mother of two children, has resisted for a long time before giving up : she will leave Algie

Algeria : more than 40 000 French returnees since march - The Point

" The hardest thing is not knowing when you will return. "Sophie, mother of two children, has resisted for a long time before giving up : she will leave Algiers to return to France with her children, leaving her husband, an executive of a multinational, on-site. "It is a tear, but the confinement, with children, without leisure, and without occupations for them, it is violent," explains the French 40-year-old who lives in Algeria for four years. "In addition, grand-parents, isolated in France, want to see the children," she continued. According to the embassy of France in Algiers, more than 40 000 people* have been able to return to France from Algeria since the closure of the borders took place on 17 march. "Despite the closure of borders, the algerian, the device of special flights is extended to allow the French and residents who wish to join the France ", said one of the embassy of France.

Uncertainty and lack of projection

" Two airlines, Air France and ASL Airlines operate daily flights from Algiers, and several times a week since Oran, Annaba and Bejaia, bound for Paris and Lyon. The tickets are sold freely on the websites of the two companies. "To the two companies mentioned, you can also add Transavia, Air partner France. On 28 June, the algerian authorities had ordered the continued closure of the borders in land, sea, and air " until the pandemic of the sars coronavirus is exceeded ". "It is at this time that I decided to leave," says Amel, a consultant to franco-algerian installed in Algiers for six years. "If we were given a horizon specific, a date, OK, but then, we didn't even know when the borders will be reopened. This uncertainty led me to buy my return ticket. In addition, I was very afraid that France stop the flights ! " said Amel. For others, like Anne, the fifties and married to an Algerian, this lack of projection into the future has caused, on the contrary, to stay. "Don't know when I could go in Algeria has me blocked. All trapped here in a small apartment in Paris, under 40 °C, " continues Anne.

"It was a little" treasure hunt

"At the beginning of the crisis, I did not leave Algiers," says a French business leader. I said to myself it will go away in two or three months, but we no longer see the end. So I decided to go back, especially as the business is at a standstill. "" In addition, I couldn't take any more of this semi-confinement, to stay in my apartment all the time, not see anyone, no beaches, no pools, no parks for weeks and weeks... Yet, I'm privileged, I'm a beautiful, spacious apartment and I am in the city centre of Algiers. I dare not even think of the majority of the families here, " says the consultant, Amel. At the beginning of July, Amel decides : "But to buy the one way ticket, check on flights, etc, this was not obvious at all. I have found pages on Facebook, gathering of the French in Algeria, which I have happily helped her. "

For Sophie, the mother of two children, buy a ticket, "it was a little" treasure hunt : "In addition, I did not understand the confusion that existed between the airlines pushing people to buy tickets who are going to be in any way cancelled. "At the same time the flights of airlines (Air France, ASL Airlines and Transavia, Air Algeria, which has begun to open gradually its agencies at the end of June – has also launched services for the repatriation to Paris, france, (4, 5, and 9 August) and to other destinations (Rome, London, Brussels, Frankfurt, Cairo, Moscow, Doha, etc). Only european nationals, residents or holders of a visa type D (long stay) for the Schengen area are allowed for repatriation organised by Air Algérie for these flights to France.

"heart-Wrenching"

" Arrival in France, I was shocked by the lack of procedures in place to detect contaminated. We were however asked to present at the airport of arrival a declaration on honour of the absence of symptoms of the Covid-19, but nothing. We have nothing required to PAF, " said Amel. It is true that she has traveled before the 1st of August : "from this date" every person arriving in France from Algeria will have to submit to a health inspection, " according to the website of the consulate general of France in Algiers. "I am-call all alone at quatorzaine to protect my family. They are organized for it. I feel relieved and happy to be part of, " says Amel. For Sophie, who has just arrived with her two children at the country home of her parents in the south-east of France, the satisfaction is incomplete : "The real heartbreak is that of having left my husband because of his work there in Algiers, but we have no choice. And we don't even know when we will be together again. "

* Figures as of the end of July

Updated Date: 06 August 2020, 17:33

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