How can I reunite with my partner?
Here are successful stories from couples separated by travel bans
These stories are individual experiences, not official guidelines
Nane and Brian
Belgium to United States of America (Nebraska)
July 12, 2020
On July 13 I traveled to Mexico with two girls I met in the Couples group on Facebook. The trip to Mexico went very smoothly. We left from Frankfurt - no questions were asked by border police or gate agents. On the plane they handed out an immigration form and a health declaration form.
Border control in Mexico was easy. They wanted to know the purpose of our visit (we said tourism), who we were traveling with, they also wanted to see confirmation of stay and/or flights back. I was also asked why I decided to travel during a pandemic, I responded truthfully: I’m doing a 14 day layover before heading to the US to see my boyfriend. To which he then just said OK, stamped my passport and I was in!
We stayed one night in Mexico City and flew to Cancún the following day. We booked a hotel in Playa del Carmen, about 1h south of Cancún. The hotel was fine (Reef Playacar), no complaints. My boyfriend arrived on July 16 and we spent the rest of the 14 days together.
On July 27, precisely two weeks after arriving, we flew to the US. POE was Miami. Here is a detailed rundown of my experience:
- I didn’t check in online, but used the machines in the airport and dropped off my bag. No unusual questions were asked.
- Before we were allowed to enter security, we had to show the QR code from the health form (it wasn’t clear if we could have used the code from the form we filled out on July 13, or if we needed to fill out a new one (which we did)).
- Boarding went smoothly, but I did get randomly stopped for a pre-Customs check where the officer asked me how much cash I had on me.
- When we (my boyfriend and I) exited the plane, we had to go through an automated passport control first. We were then directed to a border agent. My boyfriend and I walked up there together. She asked the usual questions (“Where are you traveling from?” “How long were you there?” Are you staying here?” “Are you guys married?”). When she asked where I live and I said Belgium, she asked if we saw CDC at the gate. We said no (because there weren’t any CDC officers at the gate), after which she called another officer and said she “got a light” and that we “weren’t checked by CDC at the gate”.
- The second officer then took both of us to a waiting room. My boyfriend was allowed to come with because we were traveling together. The CDC then did a health check: they took my temperature and asked if I am experiencing any symptoms. They also wrote down my email address, my seat on the plane, and the address I’ll be staying at. Even though my boyfriend was in Mexico with me for 10 days, he wasn’t asked anything, so it was all because I’m European.
- After the health check, we had to see another Customs officer. He again asked the same standard questions (“What’s your final destination?” “Do you have gifts on you? Tequila?”) and then we were good to go!
In short: all in all it went real smooth. I was really nervous, and had prepared myself for a tough interview, collected relevant documents (confirmation of the 14 days outside of EU, hotel reservations to prove I was in Mexico for 14 days, return flight home), but I didn’t have to show anything. I’m glad I was able to take this route!