Portugal and Spain signal reopening of border on Wednesday

Portugal and Spain will mark the reopening of their border, on Wednesday, with ceremonies at the highest level, in Badajoz and Elvas, with special political symbolism, bringing together 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 for cross-border workers.

Hours after the reopening, on Wednesday morning, the official ceremonies will take place, with the participation of the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, of the King of Spain, Felipe VI, of the Portuguese Prime Minister, 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 today, at 9:30 am in Portugal (10:30 am in Spain) there will be a ceremony at the Archaeological Museum of Badajoz, in which the hymns of both countries will be performed and there will be a family photo. Fifteen minutes later, a similar ceremony will take place at the Castle of Elvas.

The Spanish Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, began by announcing the reopening of the borders with Portugal for June 22, an announcement to which the Portuguese Government reacted with surprise, having been 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 adds up to more than 28 thousand deaths in a total of about 250 thousand cases of infection accounted for.

In the past few weeks, the number of new infections and reported deaths has dropped significantly. From Sunday to Monday, Spain recorded three more deaths and 84 new cases, according to the Spanish Ministry of Health.

In the same 24 hours, from Sunday to Monday, Portugal registered four more deaths and 266 more infected, according to the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).

In Portugal, the first cases were confirmed on the 2nd of March and so far 1,568 people have died in a total of 41,912 cases of infection accounted for, according to Monday's DGS report.

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 to 19 parishes, where the state of calamity continues to prevail. , while most of the national territory went on alert.

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and the Prime Minister, António Costa, have defended that Portugal opted for the truth in the disclosure of the covid-19 data and have pointed out that the country is one of those that performs more tests in the European space .

IEL / PMF (FPB) // SF

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