“In coordination with the Government of Spain, we approved the extension of border controls and the limitation to nine exclusive crossing points on our land border with Spain for another month, until 15 May”, said Eduardo Cabrita, in a press conference.
The control of land borders with Spain has been carried out since 11pm on 16 March at nine authorised crossing points.
The operating border points are Valença-Tuy, Vila Verde da Raia-Verín, Quintanilha-San Vitero, Vilar Formoso-Fuentes de Oñoro, Termas de Monfortinho-Cilleros, Marvão-Valência de Alcântara, Caia-Badajoz, Vila Verde de Ficalho-Rosal de la Frontera and Vila Real de Santo António-Ayamonte.
Within the scope of border control, tourist and leisure travel between the two countries is prevented, with only the transport of goods and cross-border workers being permitted.
The resolution that prolongs the closure of borders between Portugal and Spain also includes the suspension of all flights between the two countries, one of the exceptions being aerial means of combating forest fires.
The document states that, within the scope of the Special Rural Fire Fighting Device (DECIR), the international public tender for the leasing of 26 air vehicles is being concluded, making it necessary to allow the entry into the country and the departure of aircraft that integrate DECIR, as well as personnel assigned to the operation and maintenance of air resources.
According to the resolution, all flights, from all airlines, commercial or private, between Portugal and Spain are suspended at Portuguese airports or aerodromes, with the exception of “State aircraft, the Armed Forces, the aircraft they integrate, including those that are intended to integrate the Special Rural Fire Fighting Device, flights for cargo and mail transport, as well as flights of a humanitarian or medical emergency nature and technical charters for non-commercial purposes ”.
Eduardo Cabrita stressed that the Government is in line with the position expressed by the President of the Republic in the sense that the state of emergency be extended for a third period, from the 18 April until the beginning of May.
The minister also considered essential the assessment that will be made this week by epidemiologists, stressing that “it is essential to continue this effort” and participate in the European debate that is underway for a gradual and coordinated strategy for the return of some economic activities.
“Any gradual return to activities requires that there be great respect for social distancing to allow the protection of the most vulnerable, and that sustained steps are taken in the country and with all countries on a European scale,” he said.