ALMERIA National Police have dealt with more than 3,000 illegal immigrants trying to reach Spain on small boats so far this year.
The police reported they have assisted, identified and attended to a total of 269 small boats carrying 3,092 people in all. Of these, 58 per cent were intercepted out at sea before they reached land.
The number of immigrants is quite some way down on 2018 and 2019, when the totals by the same month were 4,134 and 6,322 respectively.
There were 160 minors among the immigrants Almeria police dealt with this year, compared with 234 last year and 183 in 2018.
Police explained that once a boat is intercepted the health protocol for detecting possible cases of Covid-19 is immediately activated.
When they disembark the immigrants are put into preventative isolation. At the same time Red Cross teams specialising in humanitarian aid for immigrants carry out tests to detect possible infections, and immigrants remain isolated until they have a negative result.
They are divided into sections with the group they arrived with in order to allow for tracing and subsequent monitoring in the event there are positive cases.