Spain, Portugal reopen joint borders

After four months under the state of alarm, Spain and its Iberian neighbour, Portugal, reopened their joint borders on Wednesday (1 July) to mark the return to the so-called ‘new normal’ life after the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on the tourism sector, one of Spain’s key economic engines.

The symbolic ceremony, celebrated in the border towns of Badajoz (Spain) and Elvas (Portugal), was presided over by Spain’s King Felipe VI and attended by Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported

Borders between the two countries have been closed since 17 March.

In the framework of the reinforced safety measures put in place by Spain, its government has allocated extra personnel to carry out health checks on all passengers arriving in Spain by air or sea, which include, among other steps, taking the passenger’s temperature and doing a visual check on the passenger’s health condition.

They must also fill in a document and provide information on their Spanish address as well as their telephone number, among other data.

On Wednesday (1 July), Spain’s Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, stressed that international tourists are arriving in Spain in several “stages” or “waves”, which will allow a progressive and safe restart of the tourism activity in the country, EFE reported.

Since 15 June, a so-called tourist “corridor” has been successfully operating between Spain and  Germany and the country opened its borders with Schengen countries on 22 June.

On Wednesday, Spain opened its borders to 15 third countries, said Maroto, who stressed that the reopening of EU and Spanish borders to the rest of the world will be “slow and gradual”. (EUROEFE)

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