New security checks could mean long border delays

  • New EU security controls were implemented at Schengen borders last Friday

New EU security controls were implemented at Schengen borders with effect from Friday 7 April and as a result it is possible that there will be delays for pedestrians and motorists entering and leaving Gibraltar.

In fact, there were queues of over two hours to leave the Rock and cross into Spain from Wednesday afternoon until late that night, despite the fact that the new controls had not yet officially been implemented. No explanation has been given for the delays, which brought traffic on the Rock to a standstill.

As the UK is not part of the Schengen Agreement, Gibraltar does not have to introduce any further controls but Spain is obliged to do so. This means that from today onwards Spanish officials will have to check all identity documents against national and EU data bases. Although the checks take very little time to carry out, the sheer numbers of people who cross the border between Spain and Gibraltar each day is raising fears of long delays for pedestrians and motorists, although the Spanish authorities have said they will assign extra personnel to the border to prevent this.