Albertans overseas race to find ways back to Canada as travel restrictions grow more stringent over the coronavirus

Albertans who are abroad are scrambling to figure out plans to come back to Canada as countries around the world begin to impose stricter travel restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

This comes after the foreign affairs minister urged Canadians who are out of the country to return home while commercial means are still available.

Sheila Ethier of St. Albert is in Bucerias, Mexico with her significant other and friends. The group arrived at the end of January and are currently scheduled to come home April 7.

However, the group has been watching the developments around the coronavirus and is looking to come back to Alberta sooner rather than later. Ethier is a nurse.

“I felt I needed to be back at work and also, just because I’m in a foreign country and the fear that the way things were happening so fast, that the airlines wouldn’t be able to fly anymore or they would cancel flights,” she said.

Ethier has been trying to re-book her flight and is concerned that she will be left stranded in Mexico.

“I’m loving my vacation here. It’s wonderful. But given the uncertainty with the markets and the way things are rapidly changing, watching what may or may not happen to airlines across the world…it makes you more concerned about getting home,” she said.

Ethier said she is currently waiting for a call back from her airline to change her flight.

“I’m actually not afraid of the virus as much as I am not being able to get back home,” she said.

“I think the last three days, you wake up in the morning and there’s a feeling of, ‘Is this real?’ You don’t look at it in terms of relaxing on the beach. It’s more of a panic to get home because you’re not sure of the future.”

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