First weekend of renewed border checks see 163,000 stopped, 65 barred


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Portugal’s authorities checked the details of more than 163,000 people at the country’s borders on the first weekend on which document controls were reinstated in the context of World Youth Day (WYD), a mass Roman Catholic event that starts on 1 August, and barred 65 people from entering the country.

The WYD-related checks on documents at air, sea and land borders came into force on Saturday and is being carried out in a selective and targeted manner based on information and risk analysis, the authorities said.

According to the operational summary issued on Monday, in a statement, by the Internal Security System, in the first two days 13,461 people were checked at land borders and 149,838 passengers at air borders.

As part of the operation, 65 people were refused entry to the country, 52 of whom were trying to reach Portugal by land and 13 by air.

At air borders, the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) checked 885 flights, the vast majority originating outside the Schengen Area, made two arrests for document fraud and applied precautionary measures in 41 cases.

With 27 enforcement actions throughout the day, involving a staff of 289 agents, the National Republican Guard (GNR) identified 25 offences in land border control, two crimes, made three seizures and detained one person.

The information released on Monday also states that the GNR controlled 2,380 vehicles, two trains and seven boats over the weekend.

SEF, at land borders, checked 2,122 vehicles and 7,392 citizens, and in two cases applied precautionary measures.

The reinstatement of documentary checks at borders is to remain in place until midnight on 6 August, the lst day of WYD, and takes place “exceptionally in order to safeguard possible threats to public order and internal security,” according to a government resolution.

Border control in the context of WYD, an event that will take place in Lisbon between 1 and 6 August and will be attended by Pope Francis, is being overseen by the SEF, with the assistance of the Public Security Police (PSP) and GNR, in addition to the possible collaboration of authorities from other countries.

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