New life in the time of Covid

During lockdown, we were gazumped on our chosen property. Not able to be in Italy to discuss or negotiate face to face, we felt impotent.

We came over on the first Monday that Europe opened its doors and we weren’t sure if we would be asked to reciprocally quarantine by the French, as Pritti Patel had put a ridiculous and ineffective quarantine law into place in the UK for any foreigners coming into the UK – except agricultural workers. Or freight carriers. Or scientists. Or clinicians. And even though the UK had the highest death rate in Europe – the world, in fact, bar the trusty Americans.

Anyway… we were astonished – Eurotunnel was full! Packed to the gunnels with SO many Brits in their cars, packed to the gunnels!  There were a couple of British cars that we kept seeing all the way down through France into Italy, as well. Talk about making a break for the border!

We managed to get through France in one day, which was knackering, but French Border Force was happy to let us transit through France to another country, as their hotels weren’t yet open. We had prepared well – packed food for breakfast, lunch and supper in case service stations weren’t open. We also had our masks… and our sanitiser…

At all service stations through France and into Italy, we had to wear masks – and still do, when entering any shop or commercial business. Plus you have to use hand sanitiser as you go into bars, restaurants, banks and shops, etc. Staff are really good and do ask you to leave if you don’t have a mask. It feels really safe here, in Italy. There is no ambiguity about where you can go, what you have to do or when you wear your mask. If there is a bubble-up of covid cases, mask-wearing is extended to any public spaces. It makes so much sense! And yet, the British seem to be complaining and making a huge fuss about it all…

So, here we are. We were presented with an opportunity to start our new life, ironically because of lockdown; because of furlough, so we took it.

We came to find our rental home until our property purchase reaches fruition and we have. We have a lovely little house in the centre of a small medieval town, where we can start to live our Italian life. We are still looking for the right property for our new business, but at least the pressure is off, as we settle into the system in advance of the Brexit transition period…

So, the exciting voyage into our new life had to happen under a blanket of covid. Not the way we wanted to leave the country – no goodbyes have been possible, other than over Zoom. Not even enough updates provided to friends, colleagues and contacts – still working through those!

But, we hope, more reason for people to come over and visit.

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