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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.

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.

“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.

The group is now in self-isolation for 14 days.

Ethier said while it was frustrating to be re-booked so many times, she understands how busy airlines and the federal government are. She’s just glad to be home.


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