COVID-19: Spain reopens the border with France


LA JONQUERA, Spain: Traffic flowed again through Spain on the border with France, Sunday (June 21) is the last of the strict Spanish coronavirus restrictions introduced in March have been relaxed.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced earlier this month in Madrid that would remove border controls with most of its EU members, partner states of June 21 as efforts to control the pandemic seems to work.

Spain has been one of the most affected countries, suffering more than 28,000 deaths and nearly 300,000 cases, with its economy and above all the key to the devastated tourism industry.

Madrid, the capital, and Barcelona and Catalonia, region, were hit very hard and stayed longer under tighter restrictions than elsewhere.

READ: Spain to allow Britons to visit from Sunday, no need for quarantine

On Sunday, AFP journalists at the Perthus railway crossing near the eastern end of the border saw cars crossing the tracks, every two or three minutes, with more going from Spain to France.

There were no checks starting at midnight and traffic was flowing.

The Spanish government announced on Saturday as of Sunday, EU member state citizens and those of the passport-free Schengen area would be allowed freely in Spain, with the 14-day quarantine mandatory.

Portugal has said, however, that it will keep its border with Spain closed until 1 July.

In Madrid, at the main Atocha station, Laura Garcia waited impatiently for the train to take her to Barcelona to see her fiancé.

“It has been a long time since I last saw him, obviously, which is three months, to 100 days. I bought the very first ticket available to get you there as fast as possible, “said Garcia, who wore a travel mask.

READ: German region risks of foreclosure if COVID-19 epidemic is not contained: Prime Minister

In the “new normal”, the Spanish will have to wear masks in confined spaces, to maintain the social distance of 1.5 m, while access to swimming pools, beaches, hotels and restaurants will be limited accordingly .

About 600 ministry of health personnel during this time will monitor airports to verify personal data and the temperature of the arrival of foreign passengers.

Doctors to review all suspected cases.

From July 1, Spain will fully open its borders.

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