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UPDATE: How much will Covid tests cost for a trip between Spain and the UK?

Spain has confirmed British holidaymakers will not need to present a negative PCR test to enter the country from May 24th, but a round trip between the UK and Spain will still require plenty of PCR testing, even for those who have been vaccinated. 

UPDATE: How much will Covid tests cost for a trip between Spain and the UK?
How much will UK holidaymakers have to spend on PCRs to travel to Spain now?Photo: JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP

Travelling from the UK to Spain

On Friday May 21st, Spanish authorities announced that UK holidaymakers can visit Spain without the need to quarantine or present a negative PCR test from Monday May 24th. 

Spain’s Foreign Office later confirmed that this was the case for all British holidaymakers, even those who haven’t been vaccinated, with the main health requirement being filling in a health control form

This is welcome news for British tourists and those with family and friends in Spain, as well as property owners, as May 24th also signals the lifting of restrictions on non-essential travel to Spain from non-EU countries, allowing them to visit Spain after at least 6 months. 

They will also now save a fair amount on PCR testing when travelling to Spain from the UK. British consumer group Which? found that the average cost of a test in the UK is £102 (€120) per person, but tests cost up to £350 (€410) in some areas. 

London’s Heathrow Airport on April 29, 2021. Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP
 

Travelling from Spain to the UK

Unfortunately, Spain is currently on the UK’s “amber” list for travel, which means returning Britons will have to quarantine for ten days at home and pay for three PCR tests. 

The first PCR test has to be carried out in Spain within 72 hours of travel back to the UK. 

PCR tests in Spain can cost around €100 (£85) in some parts of the country but according to Spanish consumer watchdog OCU the price usually ranges from €130 to €240 (£110 to £204). If you have time, it ‘s worth shopping around for the best prices or asking locals ¿dónde puedo hacerme un test PCR barato por esta zona? (where can I can get a cheap PCR test in this area?). 

Once you get to the UK you are required to quarantine for 10 days, but this can be done at an address of your choice, as Spain is currently not on the UK’s ‘red list’ which requires a mandatory 10-day hotel stay at the travellers’ expense.

You do however, have to buy a compulsory travel-testing pack, which is a set of two home Covid tests. These can only be bought from a UK government-approved supplier and cost around £210 (€246) per person. 

Total cost of Covid testing one-way UK to Spain: No cost

Total cost of Covid testing for one-way Spain to UK: €350 to €490 (£298 to £418)

Total cost of Covid testing for round trip Spain-UK:  €350 to €490 (£298 to £418)

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Member comments

    1. Hi. looking for information on clinics where we can get a PCR test when we reurn to UK. We are staying Orgiva Andalusia.

      Thanks Alice Reynolds

  1. Hi. looking for information on clinics where we can get a PCR test when we reurn to UK. We are staying Orgiva Andalusia.

    Thanks Alice Reynolds

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TRAVEL

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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