- Authors : Didier Gruel, Lise Thomas Richard
- Master : 2937
Palm trees, white sands and crystal-clear waters, their dream vacations started rather well. However, the dream was short-lived: on Monday March 16 2020, confinement was ordered in France. Cléante and Emma in the Philippines, Joanne and Benjamin in Thailand¾French people on vacation needing to make an emergency return to French soil… if they are actually allowed to. Embassy closed, Foreign Ministry crisis unit over-booked and impossible to contact, airlines nowhere, insurance company lines swamped. Their torment is only just beginning. Gradually, confinement is also being imposed in the tourist destinations with hotels forced to close and ask their guests to quit the premises. So, in the midst of the emergency they have to find other airline tickets, at exorbitant prices, and that’s if the flights are not cancelled. French people wishing to get home flock to the airports, sleeping on the floor in the hope of getting a flight and finally managing to get back to France. As is the case of Cléante and Emma. After an interminable trip, the two friends finally rejoin their families in a deserted Roissy airport. The Foreign Ministry crisis unit is struggling daily to come up with a favourable outcome in situations like these. It has to be said that the scale of the situation is unprecedented. 130,000 French to be repatriated from 137 countries. 10,000 French are returning in this way every day after a long trip, relieved to be back home. Despite the confinement that awaits them.