“I informed the Government and the Minister of Internal Administration of this issue. This issue, which I think is a nonconformity and an unequal treatment between European Union countries”, said António José Machado on 28 April to Lusa News Agency.
According to the Mayor of Almeida, where the Vilar Formoso-Fuentes de Oñoro border is located, on the Spanish and French borders, countries “consider the border zone, the cross-border zone, with 30-kilometer permeability” and on the border between Portugal and Spain “this measure has not been applied”.
“I think it is a measure that minimizes a problem that has been around since October last year, with the perimeter closure that was done in Castilla y León, and that was notorious. We haven't had any movement of people and [demand] in our establishments since October”, he justified.
The mayor considered that if the border is kept closed, the application of a measure that allows the movement of populations in an area of 30 kilometers "is less bad" than "not opening" the border.
In the opinion of António José Machado “it was a measure that minimized the very large impact” of the closing of the borders, since the establishments “have not had any visitors since October”.
In a question sent to the Minister of Internal Administration, they questioned "regarding the possibility of applying an exceptional regime of free movement of the resident populations within a 30 kilometre perimeter close to the land border between Portugal and Spain".
The borders with Spain have been closed since 31 January due to the covid-19 pandemic, with circulation only allowed between the two countries at the 18 authorized crossing points (PPA).
Circulation between Portugal and Spain in the 18 PPAs is limited to the international transport of goods, cross-border workers and seasonal attested workers, as well as emergency vehicles and emergency services.