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Spain clarifies: UK visitors will NOT need to show PCR test but will require health form

Following Friday’s announcement that UK travellers will be able to visit Spain from May 24th without having to present a negative PCR test, Spanish authorities have sought to clarify doubts over whether this applied to all UK travellers or just those who have been vaccinated. 

Spain clarifies: UK visitors will NOT need to show PCR test but will require health form
Spain's PM said on Friday Britons will be welcomed "without restrictions and health requirements”. Photo: Manu Fernandez/AFP

News that Spain will finally allow Britons to travel to the country for non-essential reasons and without a PCR has been met with both joy and confusion. 

Many Brits have taken to forums and social media groups to ask if it was actually possible for them to travel to Spain without proof that they aren’t Covid-19 carriers or at least immune, especially in light of the increased prevalence of the Indian strain in the UK. 

Both Spain’s official state bulletin and the country’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez have said that in three days Britons will be welcomed without restrictions and health requirements”. Spanish authorities have attributed the lifting of previous restrictions to the UK’s advanced vaccination campaign and the importance of British visitors for the country’s tourism industry.

There’s also the fact that Spain is set to allow all other citizens from non-EU nations to visit Spain from June 7th, as long as they’ve been vaccinated, whereas this requirement hasn’t been included for British visitors by Spanish authorities.

A screenshot taken from Spain’s foreign office on Friday showing third countries whose citizens can visit Spain for non-essential reasons. 

Spain’s Foreign Office has since published the following statement confirming that PCR tests will not be required but they will need to fill in a health form.

“From 00:00 of May 24th, travelers from the United Kingdom will be allowed to freely enter Spain for non-essential purposes, such as tourism, and stay in Spain without a visa for a maximum period of 90 days within 6 months. 

(https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2021/05/21/pdfs/BOE-A-2021-8449.pdf)

“From May 24th, travellers from the United Kingdom will NOT need to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate (PCR), as long as they have remained in the UK in the last 14 days.

You can read the original statement by Spain’s “exteriores” office here

“Should you have visited other countries during this period, a PCR might still be required when you arrive in Spain. Please, check rules concerning third countries at the following link.

“It is mandatory for all residents in the United Kingdom travelling to Spain (including children of all ages) to fill in a Health Control Form (FCS). You can download the form from the following link.

“Please, be aware that the visa framework established as a consequence of Brexit, remains in force and therefore British citizens will still need a visa for purposes other than tourism, such as carrying out professional activities in Spain.”

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Member comments

  1. This is fine for UK nationals coming to Spain – BUT will they be able to get back
    into UK after leaving Spain?
    Whilst Spain is on the “amber list” THREE tests are needed. One in Spain and two
    during a ten-day quarantine in UK. The latter could be a financial obstacle as most
    test pairs cost over £150 per person (significant overhead on travel!).
    However the greater confront is arranging for the pre-departure test in Spain. I
    came back a few days ago and it took me quite a while to get the test arranged
    (as well as a €90 cost).How many regular tourists will want to spend their time
    in Spain researching PCR-test providers? This will apply especially if they have
    to engage in what, to them, is a foreign language.
    Are we likely to read stories of tourists being denied readmittance to UK or
    facing large fines?
    The situation is only slightly better for “green list” countries as they will still
    need to get a pre-departure test (Portuguese language certificate not valid!)
    and pay for a “day-two” test (at own expenses) after return.
    Are there any people who have been misled by announcements of “freedom”
    to travel from 17th May and the implication that green list is OK?

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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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