Gibraltar’s Chief Minister on Spains recent border controls.

Yesterday Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo went live on GBC Television to answer questions and explain announcements particularly those referring to the “lock-down” by Spain. Questioned by presenter Ros Astengo the Chief Minister offered a measured and simple layout of the facts and did much to alleviate many keen to hear what is happening after days of speculation.

Gibraltar has somewhere in the region of 10k cross border workers who need access into and out of the country daily. They are a mixture of many European and other nationalities but in the majority are the Spanish workers. With heavy restrictions on where you can go and in some cases confusion even amongst the Spanish officials this leads often to wild speculation. Mr Picardo laid bare that this is a fluid situation but the border is not closed but tightly controlled so that only necessary movement is carried out. Workers going to and from home with the necessary paperwork will be stopped at the frontier, checked and allowed to continue onward if all is in order. Likewise those entering from Spain to Gibraltar will need the paperwork which often would be a simple work permit and passport/ID if not a Gibraltar resident or if catching a flight their airline ticket/boarding card.

Fabian Picardo said he had spoken to the Junta de Andalucia President Juanma Moreno, who assured him he did not believe there was any reason for the border between Spain and Gibraltar to close now. During the interview, Mr Picardo said anyone caught out by measures at the frontier should contact the Government directly.  He also confirmed that cross-frontier workers employed by the Government will be provided with the necessary documents over the course of the week.  The Chief Minister also stressed Gibraltar is prepared for any shortfall in the workforce, particularly at the GHA, and confirmed there will be an emergency helpline available for the over 70’s who may require support during the self-isolation period.”

The Commander Military Forces in Gibraltar has himself banned ALL military personnel (which would extend to their families) from crossing into Spain.