By Cathy Elelman • 24 September 2020 • 12:46
CANCELLED: The Covid-19 pandemic meant there was no ‘Crossing the Straits’ operation this summer
CREDIT: Puerto de Almeria
ALMERIA port passenger numbers sunk this summer by nearly 98 per cent as result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last year more than 580,000 people used the port to travel by ferry between the provincial capital and Morocco, Algeria and the Spanish enclave of Melilla between June 15 and September 15.
This is usually the period for the ‘Crossing the Straits’ operation, when North African immigrants living in Europe return home for the holidays.
This year the total was just a little over 12,500 after the health crisis forced the cancellation of the special operation.
Border closures were agreed with the Moroccan and Algerian governments as a result of exceptional measures implemented to combat the virus.
The only passengers embarking and disembarking at the port this summer were lorry drivers transporting merchandise between Nador in Mororcco and Almeria and people travelling on ferry services between the province and Melilla.
The number of vehicles embarking and disembarking from ferries in Almeria was down by just over 98 per cent on the same period of 2019, from 131,700 to 2,459.
Between the beginning of the year and September 20 total passenger numbers stood at 117,329, compared with 801,203 in 2019.
Vehicle numbers were 28,970, 84.6 per cent less than last year.
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Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.
Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.
Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.
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