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Which countries can I travel to from Spain this summer without restrictions?

If you’re based in Spain and you’re looking to travel abroad this summer, these are the countries which do not require a PCR test or quarantine for arrivals from Spain. 

Which countries can I travel to from Spain this summer without restrictions?
Flying from Spain to Costa Rica without restrictions is currently possible. Photo: Fabio Fistarol/Unsplash

With the vaccine rollout gaining ground in many countries, including Spain, the possibility of going abroad on holiday without restrictions is increasing. 

Spain is developing its own ‘Covid passport’ to be launched in June 2021 which will work together with the EU’s Green Digital Certificate that is due in July, both of which will facilitate easier travel among member states who have either been vaccinated or provide a negative PCR test, the cost of the latter finally not covered by the bloc. 

Although PCR test requirements are usually justified, especially for some countries struggling with high Covid infection rates currently, the added cost of these can dissuade many from travelling to certain destinations, as can the requirement for quarantine. 

So if your intention is to go on holiday abroad to somewhere without or with very few restrictions, the following countries allow travellers from Spain to visit without the hardest Covid-related requirements. 

It’s worth noting that Spain is advising against travel abroad and that the country’s social security system would not cover any cost linked to hospitalisation if you were to fall ill abroad, so you have to check carefully what your private travel insurance would cover. 

“In the framework of the evolution of the Covid pandemic, every traveller faces the prospect of being affected by restrictions abroad  of any kind that impede or alter their freedom of movement,” writes Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whilst urging travellers to record their travel details on this page

Travel around Europe with fewer restrictions will also be undoubtedly easier once more people have been vaccinated and Covid passports are in place in July and August. 

Keep in mind as well that travel restrictions often change with short notice, that you should double-check with official sources before booking any plane tickets, that Spain will most likely require a PCR from you to return and that you should find out if there are also visa requirements. 

As things stand, these are the countries with the fewest restrictions for arrivals from Spain:

Albania: No PCR test or quarantine required but no direct flights from Spain to Albania.

Holiday travel from Spain to Albania without restrictions is currently possible. Photo: Yves Alarie/Unsplash

Andorra: The tiny principality on the border between Spain and France doesn’t have any restrictions for travellers from Spain.

Brazil: The South American nation doesn’t have restrictions for arrivals from Spain but its high infection rate, the Brazilian variant of the virus and recent protests against President Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic don’t make it the ideal destination for a holiday currently. Only nationals, residents and Schengen passengers in transit can fly back to Spain, as well as requiring a PCR before flying back. 

Bulgaria: The Eastern European nation has its own national classification of risk areas, hence travel restrictions for Bulgaria are not based on the common “EU Traffic Lights” map. Travellers from Spain who have been vaccinated at least 14 days before flying to Bulgaria can enter without restrictions as long as they prove it on their vaccination certificates. Those who haven’t received their full vaccine treatment have to take a Covid test 72 hours (PCR) or 48 hours (antigen test) before departure.

Costa Rica: the Central American nation has kept an open border policy for tourists for some time now and does not require travellers from Spain to get a PCR test or quarantine, the Costa Rican embassy confirms, only a health form. 

North Macedonia: The southeastern European country bordering Greece does not require a PCR or quarantine from arrivals from Spain but there are no direct flights available currently. 

Ohrid in North Macedonia, where travel from Spain without restrictions is possible now. Photo: Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Mexico: Méjico has remained open to travellers despite its at times high weekly infection rate (currently 12 cases per 100,000 people according to Reuters) and has no requirement for quarantine or PCR for entry from Spain. Tourist resorts are open and do ask guests to fill in health forms. There are direct flights to Cancún and other parts of Mexico from Spain.

Montenegro: Vaccinated travellers who received their final dose seven days before travel can visit the Balkan nation without restrictions. For the rest of travellers from Spain a PCR test is required.

Dominican Republic: Travellers from Spain are not required to quarantine or take a Covid test before arrival. In fact, the Caribbean nation offers antigen tests to international visitors, at a very low cost. Check for the latest updates here

Cayo Levantado island in the Dominican Republic. Photo: VViktor from Pixabay

Romania: There are currently no quarantine or testing requirements in place for passengers arriving in Romania directly from Spain. You can check Romania’s latest list of high risk countries which have restrictions here; Spain is currently listed as “green”.

Switzerland: On May 31st, Swiss authorities eased entry restrictions for vaccinated and immune travellers from around the world. Find out more here

Tanzania: The African nation famed for its safari experiences has kept its borders open for the most part of the pandemic and doesn’t require any PCR or quarantine. There are however limited flights there.

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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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