Americans stranded after Spain-Gibraltar border is closed
NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain — The Spain-Gibraltar border closure briefly trapped a handful of Americans who call “The Rock” home.
Cmdr. Aladar Nesser, the U.S. Navy’s Gibraltar liaison, said his 13-year-old son couldn’t go to school on Monday because the border was shut down to pedestrian and vehicle traffic. His son attends an international school across the border in southern Spain.
The ninth-grader greeted the break from classes much like a student who gets a day off because of bad weather or snow.
Call Monday a “Border Day.”
“He didn’t mind the extra day off,” Nesser said.
Meanwhile, the border shutdown — which took place after several dozen passengers on a cruise ship were taken ill with a highly-contagious stomach virus — could put off any trips to the popular destination by Americans stationed nearby. So far, however, base-sponsored trips have not been canceled.
Each week, dozens of U.S. military active-duty and civilian personnel travel to the British colony to see the sights and shop.
The Information, Travel and Tours office at Naval Station Rota, which is about 70 miles north of Gibraltar, sponsors trips to the “The Rock” nearly every week.
Kyp Hughes said the office does not expect to cancel any scheduled tours to Gibraltar at this time. A base-sponsored trip planned for this past weekend was canceled because not enough people signed up to go.
No trips were scheduled for Monday or Tuesday.
More than 3,000 American servicemembers live and work at Naval Station Rota, near Cadiz, and Morón Air Base, near Seville. Both are Spanish bases shared with U.S. forces.