UPDATE: ‘Common Sense Has Prevailed’ As Stringent Passport Checks At Spain-Gibraltar Border Scaled Back

Image of the Gibraltar-Spain frontier.

Image of the Gibraltar-Spain frontier. Credit: Gibraltar Government

UPDATE: Saturday, August 26 at 8:20 pm

Stringent passport checks that had been implemented at the border between Gibraltar and Spain on Thursday, August 24, appear to have been scaled back by Friday evening.

According to gbc.gi, this move, which saw National Police officers at the frontier scanning a significant number of passports, was initially approved by Spain’s Ministry of the Interior. Holders of Gibraltar’s red ID card were also involved.

The action was allegedly designed to increase the detection of wanted suspects and criminals it added, referring to reports in the Spanish press.

Motorists and pedestrians faced lengthy delays in the 24 hours leading up to Friday evening by which time the checks appeared to have become more relaxed and things were more or less back to how they were before Thursday’s action.

After the checks were implemented, the Gibraltar Government made a complaint and released a statement in which it threatened to carry out reciprocal action.

Speaking with GBC, a Gibraltar Government spokesperson told them they were: ‘Very pleased that common sense has prevailed and we continue to work to ease people’s lives and not cause greater problems to those who need or wish to cross the frontier’.


Friday, August 25 at 5:57 pm

A situation is developing at the border between Spain and Gibraltar after a new passport control regime was suddenly introduced by Spain on Thursday, August 24.

As reported this Friday, August 25, in a press release from the Gibraltar Government: ‘The Spanish border authorities, without prior warning, initiated a new passport control regime at the frontier yesterday’.

‘The new practice entails the scanning of a significant number of passports, including those held by Gibraltar resident red card holders and even of some Spanish nationals’.

ID cards have reportedly been scanned as well

‘Reports suggest that some ID cards are also being scanned. This, together with higher numbers of people crossing the border at the height of the summer tourist season has caused lengthy queues and considerable inconvenience to thousands of people
coming into Gibraltar, the vast majority of whom are actually Spanish’.

‘The Government has already sought clarification from Spain and the United Kingdom is similarly seeking clarification.
In the event that no explanation is forthcoming, or that the explanation is unreasonable in all the circumstances, His Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar will act reciprocally, incrementally as from next week’.

Travellers are advised to carry valid travel documents

‘This means that cross-frontier workers who are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement should ensure they have valid travel documents available for inspection upon entry into Gibraltar’.

‘Those who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will have to demonstrate this through the daily provision of valid travel and identity documents also’.

‘The Government deeply regrets this situation which follows the action taken by Spain for which no explanation has yet been received’.

‘The Government will not hesitate to implement new passport and ID card scanning and other measures if necessary, for non-UK nationals, as well as implementing new queuing protocols, if no changes are forthcoming’.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com


    • Me

      26 August 2023 • 16:37

      LOL, yeah, so delay everyone even MORE at the border!

    • John

      30 August 2023 • 08:54

      I only use the e-gates as its quicker. The e-gates scan passports or DNI’s so its a bit odd that Gibraltar was making such a big deal.

    • john

      06 September 2023 • 11:43

      As of today 6 September, Gibraltaians have a sign up. Uk Nationals and anther non-UK nationals. Customs in Gibraltar are stopping most people who are or look Spanish and searching bags. But, for some reason this us not being reporported.

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