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Govt works to bring 27 stranded Gibraltarians home

The Gibraltar Government’s efforts to bring 27 stranded Gibraltarians home continue even in the face of massively reduced travel links amid the Covid-19 crisis. 

Of the 27 stranded Gibraltarians, there are three in Australia, eight in India, 15 in Morocco and one in the United States. 

Issues have also arisen with passengers flying to Gibraltar in order to enter Spain, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said yesterday. 

Seven of these passengers arrived here by air on Sunday and were initially denied entry at the border.

The matter was later resolved with the Spanish authorities.

Dr Garcia said: “The Spanish authorities at the border have been fully cooperative whenever there have been areas of concern.” 

“Over the weekend seven passengers flew out to Gibraltar on British Airways flights. Their destination was not Gibraltar, it was Spain, and they wanted to cross over the border.” 

“Initially, they were not allowed to do so because of the documentation that they were carrying but after taking it up at an official level between officials on the Gibraltar side and on the Spanish side, their situation was resolved and they were allowed to go through.” 

“There are really no issues in terms of goods coming in or of persons crossing provided that those people have the right documentation to be able to do so and they comply with the state of lockdown in Spain and in Gibraltar.” 

British Airways have now been alerted and clarification is being sought as to what documents are required, he added. 

This comes amid the grounding of flights and hugely reduced activity. There were, for example,  67 arrivals by air last working week, compared to 3448 in the corresponding period last year.

The number of people coming through the border has now dropped further.

There were 13,737 persons crossing into Gibraltar during the last working week. It compares with 170,988 in the same week last year.

“This huge drop is not surprising given lockdown on both sides,” Dr Garcia said. 

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