PARIS, 24 March 2021 – Two dozen Algerians, including children, have been stuck for three weeks at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in the French capital, Paris, unable to head to Algeria because of border closures.
Algeria shut down its air, land, and maritime borders as part of efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 cases.
The 25 Algerian citizens have rejected calls from Algiers for them to return to Britain, where they are currently resident, citing the urgent need to reunite with their families and relations back in Algeria.
The stuck Algerians have been dependent on food handouts and on vouchers provided by the airport operator, Aeroports de Paris.
Most of them sleep on the carpeted floor of the hotel and use the public toilets to shower.
Paris was a transit stop on their way home from Britain.
Some of the Algerians have shown paperwork to journalists proving that they have negative COVID-19 tests and also showing that they have been vaccinated against the virus.
Although Algeria cut all plane and maritime links with France since March 2020, officials in Algiers have organized frequent flights to repatriate their nationals.
Algeria cited the rapid spread of the UK variant of the virus in order to halt repatriations until the end of March 2021.
The French News Agency (AFP) reported Friday that the group has enlisted lawyers to study an emergency legal challenge to the repatriation ban.