Spain to close its land borders

Fernando Grande-Marlaska, centre.
Fernando Grande-Marlaska, centre. / SUR
  • Borders will be closed to travellers who are not Spanish or resident in Spain, though goods will not be halted

Spain will re-establish land border controls from midnight on Tuesday and for the duration of the State of Alert. Land borders to all those travellers who are not Spanish or resident in Spain will be closed, it was announced on Monday evening.

The main objective of this measure is to "bend the curve" of those infected with the coronavirus, which has already reached 9,191 confirmed cases, and will not affect the transport of goods, diplomatic delegations, international organisations and those who provide documented evidence of need.

"The objective is to be united against the coronavirus and to guarantee citizens' health," explained the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, in an appearance on Monday evening after holding a meeting by videoconference with his European counterparts.

The decision has generated numerous doubts that have had to be clarified by the department itself. To begin with, the measure only affects borders with the EU, excluding Gibraltar and Andorra. What's more, the measure doesn't, for the time being, affect airports or ports.

As explained by the Minister of the Interior, the decision taken by Spain involves the activation of Article 28 of the Schengen Borders Code, which allows border controls to be re-established in emergency situations.

The need for the use of military personnel will be assessed.