Monday, 2 Oct 2023

Albertans abroad finally make it home amid COVID-19 crisis: ‘It was utter relief’

More than 10 days after the federal government urged Canadians to return home over novel coronavirus fears, many Albertans have finally made it back.

Sheila Ethier and a group of friends landed in Bucerias, Mexico at the end of January.

Originally, the group was scheduled to return home to Edmonton April 7 but calls from Canadian Foreign Affairs to come home cut their trip short.

“There wasn’t too much excitement but by Sunday, a lot of the restaurants had closed, there was this huge exodus of tourists.

“It was like a ghost town,” Ethier described.

Ethier was then scheduled on a March 25 WestJet flight. Then WestJet announced it was suspending all international flights effective March 22.

The group struggled to get information on whether they would be able to return.

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Finally, they got confirmation they would be on a repatriation flight to Calgary March 23.

“It was like utter relief.

“Immediately I was like, ‘Thank you Justin Trudeau. Thank you, WestJet,’” Ethier told Global News.

After an overnight layover, Ethier made it back to Edmonton on March 24.

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