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Gib residents allowed across border despite tighter restrictions in Spain

Photo by Eyleen Gomez

by Brian Reyes and Maria Jesus Corrales

Residents of Gibraltar will be able to continue crossing into Spain despite tighter restrictions introduced by the Spanish Government in response to the new strain of Covid-19 detected in the UK.

Under measures approved today by the Council of Ministers, only Spanish and Adorran nationals and people legally resident in Spain or Andorra will be able to disembark from flights or ships arriving from the UK.

But at Spain’s border with Gibraltar, the exemptions will include people who are legally resident on the Rock.

“After the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of the Interior…will issue an instruction with immediate effect and under which only Spanish nationals,, people with legal residence in Spain, people with legal residence in Gibraltar and cross-border workers will be allowed to access [Spanish] territory,” a spokesman for Spain Interior Ministry told the Chronicle.

“The entry of any other person, for example UK nationals who are not resident in Gibraltar, will not be permitted.”

The Spanish announcement came just hours after governments of Gibraltar and the UK agreed additional Covid-19 restrictions on passengers landing at Gibraltar International Airport, with travel limited only to people resident in Gibraltar or Spain except for a handful of specific exemptions.

The measures as a result of a spike in Covid-19 cases and the new strain of the virus detected in the UK, one instance of which has been confirmed on the Rock.

As a result, only passengers meeting the following criteria will be allowed to disembark:

- Individuals who are registered Gibraltarians, either by birth or naturalisation;
- Individuals with residence in Gibraltar, upon demonstrating satisfactory proof of residence;
- Seafarers on transit to a vessel which is berthed at Gibraltar and has immigration pre clearance letter issued by the Borders and Coastguards Agency;
- Spanish nationals who are in transit to Spain;
- Individuals travelling to Gibraltar on transit to Spain and who hold lawful residence in Spain, upon demonstrating satisfactory proof of residence;
- People who are carrying out a work activity in Gibraltar or who are taking up employment in Gibraltar and who provide proof on arrival;
- Military personnel who have been issued with Travel Orders;
- Individuals who hold an electronic letter issued by the Borders and Coastguard Agency granting that individual permission to enter Gibraltar.

The restrictions will apply from midnight on December 23, 2020.

These restrictions are in addition to those announced by the Chief Minister on Monday in Parliament on requirements for Covid-19 testing.

Those measures require passengers to provide evidence of a negative PCR test within 72 hours, or undergo a fast test at Gibraltar International Airport.