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COVID-19 Vendée

From Saturday April 3rd at midnight we are going back into lockdown, President Macron announced on March 31st. For the next four weeks we can travel a maximum of 10km from our homes except for reasons listed on the form and the 19h00 to 06h00 curfew remains enforced.  Traversing departments is considered non-essential travel. All changes are listed on the Government website here (in French, right click for translation to your computer’s default language. The following shops are open: “only those selling essential goods and service – plus bookshops, record shops, DIY, plant and flower shops, hairdressers, cobblers, chocolate makers, car dealerships, property viewers – in order to reduce contact in enclosed areas.” For now the lockdown was announced at four weeks, until May 2nd.) Non-essential travel between countries remains restricted, and France demands a negative PCR Covid test within 72hrs of arrival at its borders. For all measures and …

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Tourism & hospitality in the Vendée: surviving the immediate future

We have been asked to share our thoughts about whether or not there will be tourism in the Vendée this season. To address this, means we feel it important to address tourism & hospitality in general, as that will inevitably affect what happens in our department. The following are musings and logical thinking as having lived – and survived – 9/11 working for a major airline and related hotel industry, applying the gravity of a pandemic and its possible repercussions. 1/Is Covid-19 here to stay? The answer to this question seems quite logical: as long as the disease spreads and without a vaccine to inoculate the masses, yes, unfortunately Covid-19 is a long-term global health crisis we’ll have to deal with or work around. If we reach back to 9/11/2001, the world came to a standstill in the wake of a shocking terrorism attack that delivered a gut-punch to air …

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Expatriate in lock-down France

In recent years, the thought has crossed my mind many times that if anything could keep me from my mother in Belgium, it might be World War III. Never had I considered a virus-related near-global quarantine. But the very first day of lock down in France my worst nightmare as an expat and as an only child, delivered a punch in the face: my mother, who lives independently, took a nasty tumble down the stairs in the middle of the night. It was the third time she would be in hospital this year, and the eighth time since my husband and I moved to Europe from the US after announcing she didn’t want to fly anymore, anywhere, let alone across the ocean. But when I think back in my expat life of twenty-eight years, it is only the third time that I have experienced a roller-coaster of stress as extreme …