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Gibraltar and Spain discuss return to border normality, but early days still

Discussions between Gibraltar and Spain about returning normality to border flow are ongoing, the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo confirmed yesterday, as he underscored the importance of reciprocal measures for arrivals either side of the border. 

This comes as both Gibraltar and Spain continue their respective routes out of lockdown restrictions with measures easing on both sides in the coming days and weeks. 

Speaking at the daily press briefing Mr Picardo confirmed that his Government were in contact with the Spanish authorities about when mobility will come back to their frontiers. 

Highlighting reports of countries not opening their borders until October 31, he explained that most European nations will not open their external borders to third countries until that date, “but they are looking at reopening Schengen borders free movement across European frontiers even beyond Schengen.” 

“So, we’re in contact about the possibility of Gibraltar having the same benefits as others have had in that respect and I expect to be able to say more when something is agreed, at the moment we’re each talking to each other,” he said.

Despite this, he urged caution against “complete mobility” at this stage given the higher prevalence of the virus north of the border. 

“Some people in Spain will be moving around Spain and there is therefore the possibility of an element of tourism into Gibraltar this summer but it is something that we have to be guarded with also,” Mr Picardo told reporters.

“We of course want to see arrivals into Gibraltar, that’s good for business, but we want to see arrivals into Gibraltar in a safe way and these matters are reciprocal.” 

“The Spanish will also want to see arrivals into Spain which can be safe and they will want to see Gibraltarians spending money in the Campo and beyond the Campo, but they will want to be assured that that is safe also and we need to understand these things in a reciprocal way.”