Newlyweds Separated by COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A Dallas newlywed is among those separated by international borders with travel restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Joseph Lane said, for now, there’s no way to travel to his wife, Chantelle, in Canada.

She traveled to her hometown there near Toronto back in March just before flights temporarily halted and the border closed.

She needed to be there to finish planning their Canadian wedding celebration, a reception with her family after the two legally tied the knot in Dallas.

They never imagined when she left, it would be months before they’d see each other again.

“We were starting our lives together, you know? And that’s, you know, and we haven’t even been able to take that first step,” said Joseph.

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Canadian border agency is restricting optional and discretionary international travel. That includes family reunification unless it's for a necessary reason like caring for a sick family member.

The couple tried to seek help from the Canadian consulate in Dallas, which originally was able to write reunification letters to facilitate the boarding of planes. But they say now, that’s a requirement that’s been lifted on both sides. And that if travelers are unable to justify essential entry, border officers can refuse them.

And for now, that’s what the Lanes say they’ve been told would happen if they tried.

“We’re definitely just caught in an unfortunate situation,” said Chantelle.

Though they’ve been told they may be able to travel starting late next week, they worry the uncertainty of the virus will only extend their situation.

It’s left the couple in a state of unknown.

They’re holding onto certainty, however, that they’ll reschedule their celebration, hopefully soon resume Chantelle’s immigration process into the United States and never take their time together for granted in the future.

Contact Us