The Spanish government has announced that border controls along its 1,200-km border with Portugal will be extended until 1 March, with both countries still trying to combat a rise in Coronavirus infections and deaths.
‘The severity of the restrictive mobility measures still in force in Spain and Portugal justifies maintaining … controls at the internal land border … with the same limitations applied during the initial ten days,’ Spain’s Interior Ministry announced in the government’s official bulletin.
The two governments had agreed to close the border from 28 January, except for non-essential travel and for cross-border workers, health workers and truck drivers.
A surge in infections in Portugal since Christmas has left hospitals on the verge of collapse, prompting a strict nationwide lockdown. Hospitalisations and ICU occupancy remains high.
Latest Covid-19 figures released yesterday in Spain have shown that overall accumulated incidence rate has dropped to 667,33 per 100,000 inhabitants for the past 14 days. However, it remains over 900 in Castilla y León, the Valencia region and La Rioja.
There are currently 27,739 people requiring hospital treatment for Covid-19 in Spain, of which 4,732 are in intensive care. This represents over 43% occupation of ICUs by Covid-19 patients. It remains over 50% in five regions: Castilla La Mancha, Castilla y León, Valencia, Madrid and La Rioja – as well as in the autonomous city of Melilla.
Spain has also extended the restrictions on flights from the UK in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 variant until 6pm on 16 February. Flights from the UK were originally suspended from 22 December, with Spanish nationals and residents being the only groups still eligible to travel. Passenger ships between the UK and Spain are similarly affected.
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