Land borders between Portugal, Spain reopened

– Portugal and Spain on Wednesday reopened their land borders through an official ceremony.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the land borders between the two countries were closed from March 17 to June 30, with only a few crossing points opening exclusively for the transport of goods and essential workers.

Via a Twitter message, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa celebrated the date on which there is a “reunion between neighbors who are brothers and friends.”

“The pandemic offered us the vision of a past that we don’t want to go back to: a continent with closed borders. Freedom of movement was consolidated in the spirit of European citizens as one of the fundamental principles of the idea of Europe,” he said.

According to the prime minister, “Spain and Portugal must be top players in building a Europe whose economic and social model reinforces convergence and which, more than hopes, gives certainty to everyone.”

Portugal also started on Wednesday a new phase of deconfinement, with the majority of the country now going to the “state of alert” — the lowest classification in the Civil Protection Law.

The exception will be the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, which remains in a “state of contingency,” while 19 municipalities in greater Lisbon are in a “state of calamity” for a higher incidence of new COVID-19 cases.