The Government restricts the access of travellers through the external borders of Spain

Ministry of Interior

Madrid, 22/03/2020

The measure will be applied from midnight tonight (midnight between today Sunday and tomorrow Monday) at the border frontiers of ports and airports

Only nationals and residents of Spain may access; residents of other countries of the European Union or Schengen Associated States can return to their places of residence; holders of and applying for a long-term visa issued by a Member State; cross-border workers; health or elderly care professionals; personnel dedicated to the transport of goods; diplomatic staff; and people traveling for imperative family reasons or for duly justified reasons of force majeure (emergency).

It is also agreed to close, on a temporary basis, the land frontiers enabled for the entry and exit of Spain through the cities of Ceuta and Melilla (African territories).

This measure is in addition to the reintroduction of controls at the internal land borders with Portugal and France.


The Government has agreed to restrict passenger access across Spain’s external borders, specifically those located in ports and airports. Starting at midnight tonight (midnight between today Sunday and Monday morning), access will only be allowed through these border points, in addition to the Spanish and residents in Spain, to:

a) Residents of the European Union or Schengen Associated States, who return directly to their place of residence.

b) Holders of a long-term visa issued by a Member State or Schengen Associated State who apply to it.

c) Cross-border workers.

d) Healthcare or elderly care professionals who go to carry out their work activity.

e) Personnel dedicated to the transport of goods, in the exercise of their work activity and the flight personnel necessary to carry out commercial air transport activities.

f) Diplomatic, consular, international organizations, military personnel and members of humanitarian organizations, in the exercise of their functions.

g) People traveling for imperative family reasons, duly accredited.

h) Persons who are accredited with documentary proof of force majeure or situation of need, or whose entry is permitted for humanitarian reasons.

The resolution, like the rest of the measures adopted under the Royal Decree of the State of Emergency, aims to protect the health and safety of citizens and contain the coronavirus, and is in accordance with the decision adopted by the members of the European Council on March 17, they agreed to apply a temporary restriction on non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union and Schengen partner countries.


The order, signed by the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, will take effect at midnight tonight (midnight between Sunday and Monday morning) and will have an initial validity of 30 days, “without prejudice, in its case, of the possible extensions that could be agreed “.

The order indicates that “the Spanish authorities shall work with carriers and foreign authorities to prevent the travel of persons who, in application of the same, shall not be refused entry at the external borders”.

The order further specifies that this measure “shall not be applicable at the land border with Andorra or at the checkpoint for persons with the territory of Gibraltar, without prejudice to the possibility of carrying out police controls in its vicinity to verify compliance with the provided for in article 7 of Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14 “, relating to the limitation of movements.


The order also agrees “the closure, on a temporary basis, of the land frontiers enabled for the entry and exit of Spain through the cities of Ceuta and Melilla.”


This order is in addition to the measure adopted last Monday, March 16 by which it was decided to reintroduce internal land border controls with Portugal and France. This measure came into force at 00:00 on Tuesday 17 and is a consequence of the application of Article 28 of the Schengen Borders Code, which allows the temporary reintroduction of internal border controls in situations such as the current one (for reasons of public order and public health).

In these border controls at the borders with France and Portugal, only Spanish citizens are allowed to enter national territory by land; people residing in Spain; cross-border workers and those with documentary prove of causes of force majeure or a situation of need.

The resolution issued on Monday stated that this restriction does not apply to the transport of goods “in order to ensure the continuity of economic activity and preserve the supply chain”