The Spanish and Portuguese leaders in Badajoz on Wednesday.
Spain's border with Portugal reopens in ceremonies attended by both heads of state

Spain's border with Portugal reopens in ceremonies attended by both heads of state

Kind Felipe was with the Portuguese president at short events in Badajoz and Elvas in the neighbouring country


Friday, 3 July 2020, 14:15

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Spain and Portugal opened their border on Wednesday, with simple ceremonies on either side of the frontier.

The border, known colloquially in Spanish as 'La Raya' (the stripe), was first shut at all crossing points on 17 March. This has been particularly hard for towns and villages on either side where local economies in both countries are historically very interconnected.

The two countries wanted to give special relevance to this return to cross-border normality and the event was presided over by King Felipe VI and Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

It was also attended by the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, and the Portuguese prime minister, António Costa.

The border was reopened ten days after the rest of the Schengen area, following the wishes of the Portuguese government.

Two symbolic events took place, one each side of the border. The first was in Badajoz (Extremadura) and the second in the adjacent town of Elvas, in Portugal.

The EU opens up

The opening of the Spain-Portugal border coincided with the start of air bridges from the EU to 15 countries.

From 1 July, visitors can now arrive from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China, though in the latter case only if the arrangement is made reciprocal.

Notable omissions from this list are the United States and Russia.

In his speech in Elvas, Pedro Sánchez said that precautions still needed to be taken, but it was time to get the economy moving.

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