Borders with Spain closed as long as “strictly necessary”

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Manuel de Almeida / Lusa

The Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita

The Minister of Internal Administration said this Tuesday that the control of people at the land and river borders between Portugal and Spain will continue as long as it is “strictly necessary”, due to the covid-19 pandemic, without advancing dates.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) confirmed that the borders with Spain will remain closed until April 15 and this Tuesday Minister Eduardo Cabrita said that, as long as necessary, the measure is to be maintained.

“Borders will be subject to control as long as this is strictly necessary”, Underlined Eduardo Cabrita, speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the commemorative session of the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC) Day.

Asked if it was already possible to set a date for the lifting of controls, the minister preferred not to take any chances, referring to a new assessment of the epidemiological situation in both countries.

“We wish everyone to be able to regain normalcy, but what we do is a biweekly evaluation and here, too, we will not run the imprudence of making a projection that is contradicted by reality ”, he explained.

The borders with Spain are closed since January 31 due to the covid-19 pandemic, only circulation between the two countries is allowed at the 18 authorized crossing points (PPA).

According to MAI, the limitations do not prevent the entry into Portugal of national citizens and holders of residence permits in Portugal, but those from the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa and countries with an equal covid-19 incidence rate or more than 500 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants, who enter Portugal by land, must comply with a period of prophylactic isolation of 14 days, at home or in a place indicated by the health authorities.

Speaking to journalists, Eduardo Cabrita also commented on the balance made by the Public Security Police of the operation # Easter at Home, under which 370 people were detained, between March 26 and April 5.

“The security forces did not register particularly significant occurrences during this period and contributed decisively to the fulfillment of the restrictions of movement between municipalities and to the respect for the sanitary rules”, he affirmed.

According to the minister, on Wednesday there will be a new meeting of the Monitoring Structure of the situation of the covid-19 and then there the Government will have “a more global view” of the work developed in the last days.

Still regarding Easter, Eduardo Cabrita added: “The feeling that exists is that there was a general perception on the part of the population that we are at a decisive moment and that it is essential to continue on a path that has led us to results that are encouraging”.

The covid-19 pandemic caused at least 2,862,002 deaths worldwide, resulting from more than 131.7 million cases of infection, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.

In Portugal, 16,885 people died from 823,494 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.