Portugal: Police use drones to monitor border with Spain

The Portuguese police force is using drones to monitor the border between Portugal and Spain which has been subject to control since 23:00 on Monday due to the Covid 19 outbreak.

Checks on the land borders with Spain have been carried out since 23:00 on Monday at nine authorised crossing points, exclusively for the transport of goods and workers who have to travel for professional reasons, with the Foreigners and Border Service (SEF) responsible for checks at these points.

The police said on Thursday in Vilar Formoso near Guarda, they were monitoring the border using drones.

The police objective is “to achieve a more rigorous control of a border that is porous, as it is 100 kilometres long [in the area of the district of Guarda, from Barca d’Alva – Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo to Foios – Sabugal] and places where light cars can pass”, it said

The source told Lusa that “although there are physical barriers” that impede road traffic between the two sides of the border, “it is important that there is a complement of aerial surveillance”, also to save “human resources”.

The drone used in Vilar Formoso today, operated by two officers, did not detect any abnormal situation in the monitored area.

Road traffic at land borders is prohibited, regardless of the type of vehicle, with the exception of international goods transport, the transport of cross-border workers and the circulation of emergency and rescue vehicles and emergency services.

The new coronavirus, responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, has infected more than 220,000 people worldwide, of whom more than 8,900 have died.

After the outbreak in China in December 2019, it has already spread to 176 countries and territories, leading the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic situation.

In Portugal, the Directorate General of Health (DGS) raised today the number of confirmed cases of infection to 785, 143 more than on Wednesday.

Portugal has been in a state of emergency since 00:00 today.