Next to the International Bridge of the Guadiana, in connection between the two countries, there is no longer any control over vehicles and people and the crossing is done without any restrictions, both for Spain and Portugal. "On Sunday the road movement has been much higher than Saturday, namely with the displacement of Spanish citizens to Portugal, it is estimated that the number of vehicles may exceed five thousand", elements from Portuguese and Spanish authorities told Lusa. According to the elements of inspection at the border of Castro Marim, in the district of Faro, “the road traffic this morning was around 120 cars per minute, a number higher than that registered on Saturday and much higher than that of the first days when the first deconfinement ”. "With the reopening of the borders, there is no more control, but there are many Spanish and Portuguese citizens who call us to ask if there are any restrictions on passage," said a police source.
In the city of Vila Real de Santo António, in the Algarve, hundreds of Spaniards took advantage of the weekend to have lunch and shop in Portugal, indicating to Lusa's report that “the tour is at the same time a way of celebrating the end of the period of captivity". “We needed to go out and enjoy the outdoors, as we were in captivity for a long time,” said Cristina Tejedor, while enjoying a meal with the family of four on the terrace of a restaurant in Vila Real de Santo António.
The Spanish citizen said that she had long hoped that the borders between Portugal and Spain would be opened, "because in Portugal she feels more secure than in Spain". "The Portuguese are more disciplined, comply with safety rules and wear a mask, which is not the case in most Spanish cities," she pointed out. Cristina Tejedor added that many Spaniards "have the habit of going to Portugal on weekends, to enjoy Portuguese gastronomy and, on the other hand, to buy textiles that they don't find in Spain". For merchants in Vila Real de Santo António, the reopening of borders “is an oxygen balloon in the economy, helping to save many businesses” in the city of Raiana. "We need the Spaniards, our best customers and since Saturday there has been a great turnout and a great movement in the shops and restaurants of 'nuestros hermanos'," Manuela Romeira, a Algarve dry goods trader, told Lusa. a commercial space in the center of the Pombaline city.
On her side, André Costa, a restaurant entrepreneur, pointed out “the return of Spanish visitors, like a breath of fresh air, in a crisis that does not know how long it will take”. “We have had a high level of occupation in these two days, with about 50 percent Spaniards. The future is still very uncertain, but the reopening of the borders, gives us hope and motivation to work waiting for the situation to return to possible normality ", underlined the businessman, believing that" the summer can save the tourist year ". Lígia Oliveira, a trader in the textile industry, also welcomed the reopening of the borders, which "is being accompanied by the expectation of a resumption of business" in these first two days after the deflation between the two countries. “It is a joy for everyone to see the city center with a great movement of Spaniards, our main customers throughout the year. Between Saturday and today, what was billed already gives us some encouragement to proceed, ”she concluded.
According to the police at the border between the two countries, road traffic on the 1st of May this year, almost tripled in relation to last year, when circulation between the two countries was limited. Elements of the border authorities told Lusa that the road movement "is even less than expected, because many Portuguese and Spanish citizens are still unaware of the way in which the reopening of traffic is proceeding." "There may be some confusion that we believe may be related at the time of the first deflation, in which it became unclear but the borders remained closed with exceptions. At that time, there were many people who were forced to go back," said a police source. According to the same source, in a single day "more than 70 people were prevented from entering Portugal and also 'TIR' trucks full of goods, because some truck drivers were accompanied by women, a situation not covered by the traffic exceptions resulting from the government decree". The border authorities of the two countries estimate that road traffic may intensify at the end of Sunday, namely with the return home of thousands of Spaniards who traveled to Portugal over the weekend.