Coronavirus : the repatriation disaster


The current health crisis is perhaps the crisis of the century. While many actions were taken more or less quickly by all the world’s leaders, the repatriation of tourists and expatriates was a priority for most governments. This repatriation, beneficial as it is, will not be necessarily a good thing in the midst of a coronavirus crisis. Indeed, many measures were neglected during this major “rescue” operation. What are these measures? How was the repatriations from the Philippines? Is this really a logical move? We will see all of this in the following article.

How did the repatriation ordered by the President of the Republic go?

During the speech of France President Emmanuel Macron last March 16 2020, he offered expatriates and holidaymakers the opportunity to reach the country by special plane. Unfortunately, between the promise and the facts, reality struck a great blow. From the Philippines, many French people are still waiting for their return flight. This situation was somewhat catastrophic. If the last flights seem to go according to the rules, the first return flights serve as a bit of a fighter’s journey.

First of all, most of the roads of Manila was starting to close. Strict tightening of exits and entrances has been impemented making traveling to the airport was quite an ordeal itself. Moreover, on the first flight the boat was lucky. Arriving too late meant the impossibility of taking the flight, but also a huge difficulty in tracing the filter dam to find a hotel in town. If you managed to get through, the return flight was negotiated at around 300 euros per person. A somewhat excessive fare since a round trip from Paris to Manila costs about 450 euros.

coronavirus repatriation

What security measures were taken during the repatriation?

No action has really been taken. In fact, the people on the return flights have not been tested for their health. Thus, it was possible to spend 17 hours on a plane with potentially dozens of infected people.

Worse, when you arrived at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport there will be no screening tests were put in place for travellers. Some even had to take trains home, thus makes potentially increasing the number of people affected by Covid19.

Does it make sense to repatriate the population in the midst of a health crisis?

What is the logic of repatriation during the coronavirus crisis? Well, to tell you the truth, we’re still looking for it. If for a holidaymaker the lack of money can explain the desire to go home. The expatriate was well established in the host country. Among the return flights, many expatriates had the opportunity to return to France thus potentially endangering the lives of their families, but also risking the lives of an entire population by creating a new nucleus of infection.

After these first catastrophic repatriations, the competent authorities in the Philippines were able to reframe the situation by setting up a reservation system on flights. Unfortunately despite these measures taken upstream, no screening has been offered to travellers returning to France.