Government restricts access to travellers at Spain's external borders

News - 2020.3.22

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a) Residents of the European Union or Schengen associated countries, who are heading directly to their place of residence.

b) Holders of a long-term visa issued by a Member State or Schengen associated country heading to the latter.

c) Cross-border workers.

d) Healthcare professionals or those who look after the elderly travelling to exercise their profession.

e) Personnel engaged in the transport of goods in the exercise of their profession and the necessary flight crew to perform commercial air transport activities.

f) Diplomatic and consular staff, personnel working for international organisations, the armed forces and members of humanitarian organisations in the exercise of their duties.

g) People travelling on duly accredited imperative family grounds.

h) People that can provide documentary accreditation of grounds of force majeure or situations of need, or whose entry is permitted on humanitarian grounds.

This ruling, in the same way as the rest of the measures adopted under the Royal Decree declaring the state of emergency, seeks to protect personal health and safety and contain the coronavirus, and is in line with the decision adopted by the members of the European Council on 17 March, which agreed to apply a temporary restriction on non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union and Schengen associated countries.

Period of validity

The Order, signed by the Minister for Home Affairs, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, will come into force as from midnight on Sunday (between Sunday night and Monday morning), and will remain in force for an initial term of 30 days, "without prejudice to any extensions that may be agreed thereto, as the case may be".

The Order states that "the Spanish authorities will collaborate with transport companies and foreign authorities to ensure that travel by those people who, in application of said Order, are denied entry on external borders, are not allowed to travel".

The Order also specifies that this measure "will not apply on the land border with Andorra nor at the border control with Gibraltar, without prejudice to the possibility of performing police checks in the surrounding area to verify compliance with the provisions of Article 7 of Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14 March", limiting the freedom of movement.

Ceuta and Melilla

The Order also agrees to the "temporary closure of the land crossings enabled for entry into and exit from Spain through the cities of Ceuta and Melilla".

Border controls with France and Portugal

This Order is in addition to the measure adopted on Monday, 16 March which resolved to re-introduce internal land border controls with Portugal and France. This measure came into force at midnight on Tuesday, 17 March and is as a result of the application of Article 28 of the Schengen Borders Code, which temporarily allows for the re-introduction of internal border controls in situations such as the present one (on grounds of public order or public health).

The entry into national territory by land is only authorised at these border crossings with France and Portugal for Spanish citizens, residents in Spain, cross-border workers, those who can provide documentary evidence, causes of force majeure or situations of need.

The ruling issued on Monday stated that this restriction does not apply to the transport of goods "in order to ensure the continuity of economic activity and maintain the supply chain".

Non official translation