Spain-Portugal border closure extended until early May

Spain-Portugal border closure extended until early May
Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP
Police checks at the border between Spain and Portugal will continue until at least May 3rd in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus, with only those with a justified cause allowed to cross.

Spain’s border with Portugal will remain closed for another two weeks.

The measure published on the Spanish Foreign Ministry’s website over the Easter holidays means people crossing the border between the two Iberian nations will only be able to cross through authorised border check spots and during the opening hours established.

“The epidemiological situation in Spain and Portugal suggests that we should keep the preventive measures restricting mobility between both territories in place. After consultation with Portuguese authorities, it has been decided that we maintain controls at the internal land border between both countries after Easter,” reads Spain’s official government bulletin.

According to the statement, people authorised to cross the border include Spanish citizens and their spouses, parents or children, provided they are travelling to meet with one of these family members.

“All caution is too little,” Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said with regard to the border closure.

The Portuguese Government on Thursday approved the rules for the country’s third stage of its deconfinement plan which is due to end on Monday May 3d, coinciding with the potential reopening of the border with Spain.

The Spain-Portugal border has been closed since January 30th. Before the latest government announcement, it was due to reopen on April 17th.

Residents in Spain who can prove their residency here, students studying in Spain, EU/Schengen area nationals that are returning to their home countries are also allowed to cross.

As can cross-border workers, many of whom have been openly critical about the difficulties the border closures have caused them, which instigated the Spanish government to open two more border check posts in March in Vinhais close to Zamora and Ponte da Barca in Galicia.

Finally, those who can prove force majeure reasons for crossing the border with the necessary documentation to accredit it, as well as foreign personnel accredited as members of diplomatic or humanitarian missions or consular offices, can also cross.


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