16,000 National Police and Guardia Civil officers guarantee the security of Operation Crossing the Strait 2022

News - 15.6.2022

The Ministry of Home Affairs is coordinating the Special Plan, which also involves the State Ports and the Directorate General of the Merchant Navy, which belong to the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the Directorate General of Public Health of the Ministry of Health, and the Red Cross, among other institutions. In total, more than 22,000 professionals will be involved in the special arrangements.

The plan designed sets out the measures necessary to develop the operation with the objectives of guaranteeing the fluidity and safety of traffic and the prevention and protection of public health, with special attention to the health controls derived from COVID-19.

Seven shipping companies are involved in the Fleet Plan to speed up movement between continents, with 33 vessels transporting people and vehicles. Extensive security arrangements will ensure the smoothest possible boarding and the safety of people.

Health care

The health care system, in which the Ministry of Health, the regional governments of Andalusia and Valencia and the Red Cross are collaborating, will attend to any need arising from the high concentration of people and vehicles during the three months of the operation.

The Directorate General of Traffic has set up two rest areas and seven information points, duly signposted and staffed. The Border Information System has also been activated, with 1,768 cameras to facilitate the advance prediction of the time and pace of vehicle arrivals at the ports. A total of 2,428 panels deployed along the entire route of Operation Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar on the peninsula will provide service information to all travellers.

In addition to the human resources effort, infrastructure support is needed to provide an adequate response to the expected high traffic, which in 2019 involved the movement of more than 3.3 million people and 760,000 vehicles. In this edition of Operation Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, the following infrastructure has been set up for the service and attention of travellers:

  • 7,500 m2 of quays.
  • 508,000 m2 of esplanades, car parks and service areas (the equivalent of 51 football pitches).
  • 40,000 m2 of shade.
  • 16,500 parking spaces for passenger cars.
  • 32 berths.

The Special Plan also establishes the periods of greatest influx and traffic of people. The critical days for the start-up phase are 8, 9 and 10 July, coinciding with the dates prior to the Feast of the Lamb, and 29, 30 and 31 July and 1, 2, 3 and 4 August. In the return phase, the heaviest volumes of people are expected to occur on 27, 28 and 29 August.

During these peak traffic days, it is envisaged that a number of special measures will be implemented, such as ticket interchangeability to help speed up border crossings to the maximum.

Close bilateral cooperation

Spain and Morocco have been working in close collaboration over the past two months to prepare for Operation Crossing the Strait, with bilateral talks and meetings between the technical teams of the agencies involved in the operation.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Isabel Goicoechea, and the Moroccan Director of Migration and Border Surveillance, Khalid Zerouali, chaired the meeting on 5 May of the Spanish-Moroccan Joint Committee for the preparation of Operation Crossing the Strait 2022 in Rabat .

Non official translation