Amid COVID-19 pandemic, many Montreal travellers feeling the effects of closed borders

Click to play video: 'Travellers at Montreal airport struggling to get home as international borders close' Travellers at Montreal airport struggling to get home as international borders close
WATCH: Passenger traffic is slowing down at Montreal’s Trudeau Airport as flights get cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak. Some travellers are struggling to get home as the situation changes from hour to hour. Global’s Kwabena Oduro has more. – Mar 18, 2020

Passenger traffic is quickly slowing at Trudeau airport as flights continue to get cancelled. Normally one of the busiest airports in Canada, Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is looking more like a ghost town.

More people are reluctant to travel, but those travelling are trying to return home.

For many travellers, their business trips have been cancelled, forcing them to return home — including Yvan Deziel, who fears that his family income is at stake.

READ MORE: Canada, U.S. to temporarily close border to non-essential traffic over coronavirus

“I’m the one who is bringing the money in, so I feel a little bit bad about all this,” said Deziel, a local businessperson.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. My wife, she just lost maybe her job, and she does nails so I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I’m coming home not sure what it’s going to be like when I get to my house.”

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Pierre-Olivier Lefebvre, who lives in Trois-Rivières, was in Chicago for an internship.. The internship was supposed to be until July but he’s coming home early due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We were working closely with the Quebec government and they called me and told me, ‘I think it’s time for you to go home now,’” Olivier told Global News.

“For the sake of my health and the health of people I hang out with, I think this is understandable” added Olivier, who said he’s upset his internship has been cut short but is playing it safe.

READ MORE: Quebec reports first death in the province due to coronavirus

With the closure of the U.S.-Canada border, Canadians are scrambling to get back home and Americans are trying to find ways to leave before things worsen. That’s the case for Marie Saadeh, an American student studying at McGill University.

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Initially she wanted to stay in Montreal, but she realized that returning home to Washington, D.C. was the smart move.

“I had to get out really quick because my parents want me home. I was planning on staying but now, there’s sense of urgency to get out,” Saadeh told Global News.

Saadeh explained that many of her fellow classmates were scrambling to decide whether to go home or stay in the city, something she said weighed in her decision.

”I do know a lot students are doing that and a lot of students are leaving, so I was kind of caught in between on what to do,” said Saadeh.

Passengers are just hoping the borders will eventually re-open and traffic returns to normal. The problem: no one knows when either will happen.

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