ISSN 2330-717X

Spain Establishes Internal Border Restrictions At Ports And Airports


Spain’s Minister for Home Affairs, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has issued a Ministerial Order establishing restrictions on entry into national territory at internal borders at ports and airports (for ships and planes originating in countries in the Schengen area) which will come into force on Friday, May 15.

These restrictions come on top of those previously adopted at land borders with France and Portugal and the restrictions on the entry of travelers at external borders (originating in countries from outside the Schengen area) at ports and airports.

By virtue of the Order published in the Official State Gazette, as from midnight on May 15, only the following may come into national territory at internal borders through ports and airports:

  1. Spanish citizens.
  2. Residents in Spain, accrediting their primary residence.
  3. Cross-border workers.
  4. Healthcare professionals or those who look after the elderly to exercise their labour activity.
  5. Those people who can show documentary evidence of causes of force majeure or a situation of need.

Foreigners duly accredited as members of a diplomatic mission or those who come to Spain on “exclusively work-related grounds, provided that they can show documentary evidence”, may also gain access through these borders.

Furthermore, in order to ensure the continuity of economic activity and to preserve the supply chain, these measures will not apply to “the transport of goods, including the crew of maritime vessels, in order to guarantee the provision of maritime transport services and fishing activity, and the aircraft personnel necessary to carry out commercial air transport activities”.

This measure will come into force at midnight on May 15 and remain in force until midnight on May 23, although it may be further extended.

Protection of health

The priority aim of this measure is to guarantee that the spread of COVID-19 is contained. The Order states that the gradual lifting of the current lockdown measures “could mean that people resident overseas decide to travel to our country”.

“Taking into account that, during the de-escalation process, the restriction on free movement between provinces applies to residents in Spain, it is also considered appropriate to limit access to these areas from other Member States by air and by sea”, states the Order, before adding that “the mere fact of owning a house does not accredit residency in Spain”.

This measure is adopted by virtue of Article 25 of the Schengen Border Code.

The re-establishment of internal border controls between Spain and France and Portugal entered into force on March 17, while the restriction on access to travelers from Spain’s external borders at ports and airports entered into force on March 23.

The temporary closure was also established on March 23 of land border posts set up for the entry into and departure from Spain through the cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

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