Borders with Spain to reopen on Wednesday

  • Lusa
  • 30 June 2020

The Portuguese-Spanish border has been closed for three and a half months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but next Wednesday the borders will be reopened.

Portugal and Spain will mark the reopening of their border on Wednesday with ceremonies at the highest level, in Badajoz and Elvas, with special political symbolism, bringing together the heads of state and government of the two Iberian countries.

The Portuguese-Spanish border has been closed for three and a half months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with crossing points exclusively for goods transport and cross-border workers.

Hours after the reopening, on Wednesday morning, official ceremonies will take place, with the participation of the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the King of Spain, Felipe VI, the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, and the head of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, first in Badajoz, and then in Elvas, in the district of Portalegre.

According to the program released today, at 09:30 in Portugal (10:30 in Spain) there will be a ceremony at the Archaeological Museum of Badajoz, with national anthems and a family photograph. Fifteen minutes later, a similar ceremony will take place at Elvas Castle.

The Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, began by announcing the reopening of the borders with Portugal on June 22, an announcement to which the Portuguese government reacted with surprise, and was then settled on July 1.

Spain was one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, but in recent weeks, the number of new infections and reported deaths has dropped significantly. From Sunday to Monday, Spain recorded three more deaths and 84 new cases, according to the Spanish Ministry of Health.

In the same 24 hours, from Sunday to Monday, Portugal registered four more deaths and a further 266 infected, according to the Directorate General of Health (DGS).

Most of the new cases have arisen in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, mainly in the municipalities of Sintra, Amadora, Loures, Odivelas and Lisbon, which has led the Government to implement specific measures, especially for 19 parishes, where a state of calamity and confinement is still in force.

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and the Prime Minister, António Costa, have argued that Portugal has opted for the truth in the disclosure of Covid-19 data.