Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Interior Minister.

Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Interior Minister.

16-03-2020EFE

Spanish borders will close at midnight on Monday, March 16 and only allow Spanish citizens, Residents of Spain, Cross-border workers who can prove force majeure or a situation of need and those transporting goods will be allowed into the country.

The closure will be in effect until the State of Emergency ends, according to the Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska

"The goal is to protect the health and safety of citizens and to prevent the expansion of the coronavirus," he said.

Minister Marlaska said that in order to ensure the continuity of economic activity and preserve the supply chain, the restrictions will not effect the transport of goods.

Diplomatic personnel who are accredited in Spain, will also not be affected, provided their journeys are linked to their jobs.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, reportedly discussed the decision to close the border with both the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa.

According to Spain's Interior Minister, the decision taken by Spain involves the activation of Article 28 of the Schengen Border Code.

He also said a study has been commissioned to determine whether military forces are needed on the border and guaranteed that the countries of the European Union are united in their fight against COVID-19.

There are now 9,191 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Spain, which is an increase of nearly 1,500 in the last 24 hours and 3,215 of them have been hospitalised, according to the Ministry of Health.

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