After two years of complete border closure, starting from May 17, the Spanish authorities have started the gradual reopening of borders between the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla with Morocco.
As per the reports, Spain has started opening its borders with Morocco today, after the Minister for Home Affairs, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, signed a ministerial order modifying the order on COVID-19 border restrictions last week.
The first travellers permitted to cross the El Tarajal border crossing in Ceuta and Beni Enzar in Melilla today were citizens and residents of the European Union and those authorised to move within the Schengen area.
“In both categories, to access Ceuta and Melilla, it will be essential to meet the health requirements established by the Ministry of Health for these authorised border crossing points,” the Ministry explains.
Later on, starting from May 31, eligible to cross the borders of the two enclaves with Morocco will also be cross-border workers, while other groups permitted to enter will be determined later by the Spanish-Moroccan working groups.
To guarantee security needs and for a smooth reopening of the borders, the Ministry of Home Affairs has sent police forces to the checkpoints in both Ceuta and Melilla.
According to the Spanish government, the reopening has been made possible thanks to the authorities’ work in both countries, particularly after a meeting between the President of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and the King of Morocco, Mohamed IV.
“The reopening is the result of the bilateral work carried out with the Moroccan authorities in the framework of the roadmap agreed … which has allowed the mechanisms that will govern the reopening – gradual, orderly and with all the guarantees of security and health – of the border crossings between the two countries to be established,” the authorities note in the press release announcing the reopening of the borders.