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German couple to cancel celebration

A German couple who have visited Bermuda every year for more than a decade are heartbroken to have their trip postponed.

Susanne and Heinz-Joachim Klöpping had planned to spend their ninth wedding anniversary on May 1 in Bermuda, but were forced to cancel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mrs Klöpping said: “We are sad that this will be the first year where we will not be able to be in Bermuda for our anniversary and that we will not be able to meet the group of friends who all are from the US and not affected by the ban.

“We do understand the necessity to protect the island and that its people and health comes first.”

However, she insisted: “This will definitely not affect our plans to come to the island later in the year when the situation hopefully has improved.”

Mrs Klöpping and her husband first visited the island in 2009.

She said: “We were looking for some sunny days after a business trip to grey and rainy New York City.

“We immediately fell in love with the island and came back twice in 2010 and got married on the island in April 2011.

“Since then, we have kept returning to The Reefs, where we also got married, every year for our anniversary.”

Mrs Klöpping said: “Bermuda has become our favourite travel destination.

“We love the island and its people, have become friends with other hotel guests who always come at the same time of the year — one of our happy places.”

She said: “We usually travel via the US to Bermuda. When the US travel ban for EU citizens was put in place, we already feared that this could jeopardise our trip.

“I kept checking the Bermuda Government web site and I follow various Bermuda magazines and sites on social media like Facebook.”

Ms Klöpping learnt about Bermuda's travel ban on Friday morning.

The ban only affects visitors from China, Iran, Italy and parts of South Korea, but travellers who have visited France, Germany and Spain are required to self-quarantine with active monitoring.

Ms Klöpping added that the situation in Germany, where there has been more than 5,800 cases of the disease and 11 deaths, showed no sign of improvement.

She said: “The frontier has been closed and in some parts of Germany very strict security measures have been put in place such as the closure of schools, kindergartens, restaurants, bars and theatres, all to slow down the speed of infections to gain time to better equip hospitals.

“Most companies have put in place pandemic plans.”

She and her husband are still looking forward to returning to Bermuda.

Ms Klöpping said: “We are especially thankful to David Dodwell Jr and the management of the Reefs.

“I have been in contact with him and he immediately offered to shift our booking to a later time in the year.”

Happy memories: Susanne and Heinz-Joachim Klöpping on a previous trip to Bermuda (Photograph provided)

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Published March 19, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated March 19, 2020 at 8:58 am)

German couple to cancel celebration

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