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What travel will finally be possible this Easter in each Spanish region?

All of Spain's 17 autonomous communities, apart from the islands and Madrid, have agreed that their borders would remain closed for Easter, however, travel within some regions is possible. Read on to find out about travel within each community.

Mallorca
A beautiful 'cala' (cove) on the Balearic island of Majorca. Image: slightly_different/Pixabay

The borders of each region, minus the Balearics, Canaries and Madrid, will be closed for both Semana Santa and the Puente de San José, so from March 17th to the 21st and from March 26th to April 9th. 

Andalusia

Andalusia will maintain its border closure throughout the Easter period. They will also close the borders of the municipalities which have over 500 Covid cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Valencia

The President of the Valencian Community, Ximo Puig, has announced that the borders of the region will be closed for exit and entry, however its five million inhabitants are free to move around within it.

Catalonia

Catalonia will keep its borders closed over the Easter break. Yesterday, authorities announced that from Monday, March 15th travel would be possible between different comarcas, however this freedom may end before Easter, on March 28th, depending on the Covid situation.

Madrid

Apart from the islands, Madrid is the only community that voted against closing its borders over Easter. Travel is also allowed between its various municipalities. However, as both neighbouring Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y León will keep their borders closed, Madrid residents have little choice of where they can travel to.

Castilla-La Mancha

Like most of the rest of Spain, Castilla-La Mancha will keep its borders closed during Semana Santa. The only two provinces that will allow for travel between them are Guadalajara and Cuenca.

Castilla y León

The autonomous community will maintain closed borders but will allow for free movement between its provinces.

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Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands will not impose a border closure. Those wanting to enter the islands must present a negative Covid test upon arrival if they are coming from an autonomous community with a 14-day cumulative incidence rate of more than 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands, like the Balearics and Madrid, will not close their borders over Easter. Travel between islands and provinces is possible, as long as they’re not in level three or four.  A negative Covid test no older than 72 hours will need to be presented upon arrival.

Galicia
Galicia will maintain its border closure over the holidays. Municipalities with cases over 500 per 100,000 inhabitants will also maintain closed borders, however, travel will be allowed between municipalities that have similar cumulative incidence rates.

Murcia
Murcia too will keep its community borders closed over Easter. It will also close the borders of any municipality that falls under its Extreme Alert level.

Basque Country
The Basque Country will maintain its perimeter closure. Travel between neighbouring municipalities will only be allowed for specific reasons, which include sports, other outdoor physical activity and socio-economic activities. Residents must fill out a Responsible Declaration form to be allowed to do this.  

Aragón
Aragón will keep its borders closed throughout the holidays. Its borders between provinces will also remain closed until March 19th. It is unclear yet if travel between them will be allowed after this date.  

Navarra, La Rioja, Cantabria, Ceuta and Melilla
The above communities will all maintain border closures throughout Easter week.

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IN IMAGES: Spain’s ‘scrap cathedral’ lives on after creator’s death

For over 60 years, former monk Justo Gallego almost single-handedly built a cathedral out of scrap materials on the outskirts of Madrid. Here is a picture-based ode to his remarkable labour of love.

IN IMAGES: Spain's 'scrap cathedral' lives on after creator's death
File photo taken on August 3, 1999 shows Justo Gallego Martinez, then 73, posing in front of his cathedral. Photo: ERIC CABANIS / AFP

The 96-year-old died over the weekend, but left the unfinished complex in Mejorada del Campo to a charity run by a priest that has vowed to complete his labour of love.

Gallego began the project in 1961 when he was in his mid-30s on land inherited from his family after a bout of tuberculosis forced him to leave an order of Trappist monks.

Today, the “Cathedral of Justo” features a crypt, two cloisters and 12 towers spread over 4,700 square metres (50,600 square feet), although the central dome still does not have a cover.

He used bricks, wood and other material scavenged from old building sites, as well as through donations that began to arrive once the project became better known.

A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The building’s pillars are made from stacked oil drums while windows have been cobbled and glued together from shards of coloured glass.

“Recycling is fashionable now, but he used it 60 years ago when nobody talked about it,” said Juan Carlos Arroyo, an engineer and architect with engineering firm Calter.

Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid.
Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid. Photo: (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The charity that is taking over the project, “Messengers of Peace”, hired the firm to assess the structural soundness of the building, which lacks a permit.

No blueprint

“The structure has withstood significant weather events throughout its construction,” Arroyo told AFP, predicting it will only need some “small surgical interventions”.

Renowned British architect Norman Foster visited the site in 2009 — when he came to Spain to collect a prize — telling Gallego that he should be the one getting the award, Arroyo added.

Religious murals on a walls of Justo's cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Religious murals on a walls of Justo’s cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The sturdiness of the project is surprising given that Gallego had no formal training as a builder, and he worked without a blueprint.

In interviews, he repeatedly said that the details for the cathedral were “in his head” and “it all comes from above”.

Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The complex stands in a street called Avenida Antoni Gaudi, named after the architect behind Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia basilica which has been under construction since 1883.

But unlike the Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of Justo Gallego as it is known is not recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as a place of worship.

Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral's completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral’s completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

‘Worth visiting’

Father Angel Garcia Rodriguez, the maverick priest who heads Messengers of Peace, wants to turn Gallego’s building into an inclusive space for all faiths and one that is used to help the poor.

“There are already too many cathedrals and too many churches, that sometimes lack people,” he said.

“It will not be a typical cathedral, but a social centre where people can come to pray or if they are facing difficulties,” he added.

A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

Father Angel is famous in Spain for running a restaurant offering meals to the homeless and for running a church in central Madrid where pets are welcome and the faithful can confess via iPad.

Inside the Cathedral of Justo, volunteers continued working on the structure while a steady stream of visitors walked around the grounds admiring the building in the nondescript suburb.

“If the means are put in, especially materials and money, to finish it, then it will be a very beautiful place of worship,” said Ramon Calvo, 74, who was visiting the grounds with friends.

FIND OUT MORE: How to get to Justo’s Cathedral and more amazing images

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