'Love is Not Tourism' movement grows in SA

‘Love is Not Tourism’ movement grows in SA

As the pandemic continues, long-distance couples are kept apart even longer. For many, it has been at least five months since they’ve physically seen their partner. A new movement is growing across the world to reunite these lovers.

Called the ‘Love is Not Tourism‘ movement, they are speaking out against rules in various countries preventing international travel and keeping them apart.

“The closure of international borders in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic was – and still is – sensible and even necessary. It is obvious that we must halt tourism to protect us and others,” the movement explains on their website. “But love is not tourism. This is not just about a summer holiday, it is about mental health and the future of people all around the world.

“We as international lovers and families, urge governments of all states to amend their travel restrictions. Allow the un-bureaucratic and safe reunion of partners in long distance relationships as well as family members.”

They also say they are willing to submit to appropriate safety regulations, self-pay for a test upon arrival and quarantine until a negative result is received or a 14-day strict quarantine, as long as unmarried couples and families can visit their most important people.

Countries like Denmark, Iceland, Germany, France and Spain have already introduced measures to allow couples and families to meet up. The movement is calling for other countries in the world to follow suit.

Most regulations protect married couples, but engaged or unmarried couples are not included. Kana Ishii from Toyo and Jarran Muse from New Jersey were meant to marry this year, but COVID-19 halted their plans. In an interview with NBC New York, they explain their separation has left them drained. They are heartbroken that government will not recognise their love just because they are not married yet.

In South Africa, the Facebook page ‘Love is Not Tourism SA’ is quickly gaining traction. Couples separated by borders come to share their stories, as well as any resources they have in their fight to be reunited with their loved one.

Feature image: Pexels

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