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Covid-19: Three and a half months later, Portugal and Spain reopen borders

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Covid-19: Three and a half months later, Portugal and Spain reopen borders

Portugal and Spain will mark the reopening of their border, this Wednesday 1 July, with ceremonies at the highest level, in Badajoz and Elvas, with special political symbolism, joining the heads of state and government of the two Iberian countries.

The Portuguese-Spanish border was closed for three and a half months due to the covid-19 pandemic, with crossing points exclusively intended for the transport of goods and cross-border workers.

Hours after the reopening, this Wednesday morning, the official ceremonies will take place, with the participation of the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the King of Spain, Felipe VI, the Prime Minister Portuguese, António Costa, and the head of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, first in Badajoz, and then in Elvas, in the district of Portalegre.

According to the program released yesterday, at 09:30 from Portugal (10:30 in Spain) there will be a ceremony at the Archaeological Museum of Badajoz, in which the hymns of the two countries will be performed and there will be a family photograph. Fifteen minutes later, a similar ceremony will take place at the Castle of Elvas.

The Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, began by announcing the reopening of the borders with Portugal for 22 June, an announcement to which the Portuguese Government reacted with surprise, and was later agreed on July 1.

Spain was one of the countries hardest hit by the covid-19 pandemic, a disease caused by a new coronavirus detected in December last year in central China, and totals more than 28,000 deaths in a total of about 250,000 cases of infection.

In Portugal, the first cases were confirmed on March 2 and so far 1,576 people have died in a total of 42,141 cases of infection, according to Tuesday’s report by the Directorate General for Health (DGS).

Most of the new cases have arisen in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon, mainly in the municipalities of Sintra, Amadora, Loures, Odivelas and Lisbon, which led the Government to apply specific measures, especially for 19 parishes, where the state of calamity continues to prevail, while most of the national territory has become a state of alert.

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and the Prime Minister, António Costa, have argued that Portugal has opted for the truth in the dissemination of data from covid-19 and have pointed out that the country is one of the most tests in the European space.

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