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‘I never imagined it would be so long’: the couples kept apart by Covid rules

Many long-distance couples are spending Valentine’s Day apart because of travel restrictions

Helen Riddle’s husband, Tim, hasn’t been home in almost a year. He left the UK in March last year for what was supposed to be two weeks, and Covid-19 measures have prevented his return. His Christmas presents wait for him under the tree their three children insist on keeping up until he gets back.

Tim is a pilot who flies medical equipment around the world. Though he has lived in Hong Kong for the past six years, he would normally come home every six to eight weeks. Before he left again in March, Helen says they begged him not to go but he had no choice but to return to work. “At that point I thought: ‘We’re not going to see him for a while,’ but I never, ever imagined it would be as long as it has been.”

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