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OFFICIAL: Vaccinated global travellers will finally be able to come to Spain from June 7th

The Spanish government on Saturday June 5th published a state bulletin confirming that it will modify the entry rules for vaccinated non-EU/Schengen citizens from June 7th. 

Vaccinated travellers from all countries are now exempt from Spain's ban on non-essential travel
Photo: ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

As we reported ahead of time on Friday, Spain has gone ahead and changed its entry rules for non-EU/Schengen vaccinated travellers, only seven days after it extended a ban on non-essential travel from outside the bloc.

This has caused plenty of confusion over the past week, as Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had initially said that all vaccinated travellers, “regardless of their country of origin”, would be able to come to Spain from June 7th, whereas last weekend’s state bulletin BOE made no mention of vaccinated travellers and in fact extended the ban on non-essential travel from third countries until June 30th.

In the end, Sánchez and his government have stuck to their word, and were just keeping their cards close to their chest while preparing a new BOE with conditions that modify the travel rules published only seven days earlier.  

What has Spain now confirmed?

Spain has “modified the criteria for the temporary restriction of non-essential travel from third countries to the EU and Schengen countries” the document begins. 

The standout modification is that people who wish to travel to Spain from outside the EU/Schengen Zone can do so from June 7th if they have a vaccination certificate and have had their full vaccination treatment or last dose 14 days before travel. 

In essence, vaccinated people have been added to the list of non-EU/Schengen travellers who are exempt from the ban on non-essential travel to Spain, which up to now had been mainly for Spanish nationals and residents, students, several different categories of key workers and in some cases spouses and family members of Spanish/EU and those who can prove force majeure reasons (more details here and here). 

This BOE is the first official document confirming Pedro Sánchez’s words on May 21st, and has been released less than 48 hours before the new rule comes into effect, at 00:00 hours on June 7th 2021. 

There are no changes to the list of non-EU countries which are exempt from Spain’s non-essential travel rule. People from Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macao, China, the United Kingdom and Japan can continue coming to Spain for non-essential reasons such as holidays.

The difference for vaccinated travellers from countries that are not on the list is that they as “specific people” are now also exempt from the non-essential travel ban, as long as they can prove they’ve been vaccinated.

The Spanish government has published a second state bulletin which lays out the new conditions for travel to Spain regarding vaccination certificates, health passes and more, so stay tuned to The Local Spain as we will cover all this in detail.

READ ALSO:

Reader question: Which Covid vaccines does Spain accept for international tourists to visit?

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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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