Spanish line up at border before midnight to enter Algarve

Dozens of Spanish people lined up at the border before midnight yesterday as they waited to be allowed back into the Algarve, around three months after borders were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic

“Yesterday at 11pm there was a reasonable queue at the border,” Algarve tourism chief João Fernandes told Jornal de Notícias, stressing how excited many Spanish were to return to the region.

The reopening of the border brings a new wave of hope for the region’s summer season. Not only do many Spanish spend their holiday here, but there is also a large number of Spanish who come here just for a day to shop, eat or go surfing, Fernandes said.

Last year, Spanish tourists accounted for 1.1 million overnight stays in the Algarve, an 8.7% year-on-year increase.

Fernandes also stressed that the Spanish market provided a boost to the Algarve’s tourism sector during previous crises, like the ones in 2008 and 2009, and it could do so again.

A ceremony to mark the reopening of the border took place in Badajoz and Elvas this morning and was attended by Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Spanish King Felipe VI and Portuguese and Spanish Prime Ministers António Costa and Pedro Sánchez.

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