Eurovision 2013 alum Anouk has been repatriated to the Netherlands after being locked in a hotel in Morocco for six weeks due to restrictions around the Covid-19 pandemic.
The “Birds” hitmaker visited Marrakech on her own, hoping for a bit of personal R&R. But she ended up stuck in the country after Morocco closed its airspace on 14 March. This was not an easy pill to swallow, since the star is a mother of six and has health problems that require medication.
Her fellow The Voice of Holland coach Ali B, who is of Moroccan descent, tried to help Anouk leave the country, but amid tight restrictions it simply wasn’t possible.
After the corona pandemic led to restrictions worldwide, it was estimated that about 100,000 Dutch citizens were stuck in foreign countries. The Dutch government, in collaboration with Dutch airlines TUI and KLM, are trying to repatriate as many of these people as they can. This proved particularly challenging in Morocco because it had taken the extreme measure of closing its airspace.
During her time in Marrakech, Anouk sang several rough demos of new songs in her hotel room, which she then uploaded to her Instagram.
Anouk repatriated from Morocco
With many Dutch citizens stranded in Morocco, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stef Blok, tried to negotiate a repatriation flight with his Moroccan partners. Over the last few days, Dutch media speculated that such a flight was in the works, as a flight arriving from Casablanca had appeared on the schedule in Schiphol Airport.
On April 27, the Dutch government repatriated those Dutch citizens who were in need of medicine or had health problems. Anouk, with her asthma, was also on that flight.
The Dutch songstress kept it a secret, because she wanted to not only surprise her family with the good news, but wanted to film the reaction of her beau when returning home.
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Ik ben ontzettend dankbaar om weer met mijn gezin te kunnen zijn, en besef me maar al te goed dat ik enorm veel geluk heb gehad om met de eerste vlucht mee naar huis te kunnen. Ik hoop dan ook dat iedereen die nog vast zit zo snel mogelijk weer naar huis kan komen ?? Dank je wel lieve @______willem__smit voor al je goede zorgen ? ( @elfennmarrakech ) En dankjewel @minbz en @tuinederland voor het organiseren van de repatriëringsvluchtenen. #verrassing #enzozietmijnslaapkamerernormaalnietuithoor #manalleen ? @dominiqueschemmekes
Team Wiwibloggs is happy that the Dutch government could help Anouk reunite with her family. We send our love to those who are still waiting to return to their home countries — and to those waiting for them.
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Picture credit: ANP Knippa