Spain travel restrictions

Which documents to travel to Spain in 2021?

Spain travel restrictions

Which documents to travel to Spain in 2021?

To enter Spain, it is no longer enough for Europeans to present identity papers and for travellers from the rest of the world a passport and a visa .

In fact, since the beginning of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the rules for travelling to Spain have evolved as a result of medical knowledge and various government decisions. We all hope that this new regulation is temporary, but it is essential that you take it into account when preparing for a stay in Barcelona, as in the rest of Spain.


Spain travel restrictions : the new rules


The classic documents for entering Spain

Identity card or passport for Europeans

  • Travellers who are members of a Schengen country must present either a valid identity card (ID) or a valid passport at the border with Spain.

Passport and visa for non-Europeans

  • Travellers who are not members of a Schengen country must present a valid passport and a visa at the border with Spain.


Traveller health control: QR Code, PCR test, Vaccine, Vaccine passport, Covid pass..

Since 23 November 2020, in addition to your identity cards or passports and visas, you must now present the following documents at the Spanish border post:


1- For all foreigners arriving in Spain:

A QR CODE of health control is obligatory for all foreigners arriving in Spain.
Before entering Spain, foreign travellers must fill in an online form to obtain a personal QR code which they will present at the border.


Where can I find the Spanish health control form?

The form can be filled in online on the official website or by downloading the dedicated application:

On the SpTH Spain Travel Health website:
By downloading the SpTH application to your mobile phone.





2- For all travelers arriving by plane, boat, train, car from a country at risk:

A PCR TEST or TMA TEST is mandatory for all passengers arriving from a country with a high risk of coronavirus:

All passengers coming from a country with a high risk of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus must present:

  • A certificate with a NEGATIVE PCR result (COVID-19 RT-PCR or TMA), issued within 72 hours prior to their trip, in order to enter Spain by sea, air, and land (so the test is mandatory for arrivals by car to Spanish territory from France).
  • This test does not apply to travellers in transit (in airports for example).
  • Children under six years of age are exempt from taking the test.

This certificate or supporting document must be the original, written in Spanish and/or English, French, Deutsch and can be presented in paper or electronic format.


The document (PCR test or TMA test) will contain at least the following information :

  • name of the traveler
  • passport or identity card number
  • test date
  • identification and contact details of the center that performed the analysis
  • technique used and negative test result.

The personal identification number (passport/DNI) used to obtain the QR code must be the same as the one on the negative PCR certificate.


Upon arrival in Spain, you will still be subject to a health control at the airport and after evaluation by the health authority (including documentary control), you may be tested for COVID-19.


The list of countries at risk is updated daily on this page


For information, as of November 23, 2020, the list of countries deemed to be at risk, based on the grey and red zones defined by the European Union, was as follows:

Denmark (except Faroe Islands and Greenland).
Greece (with the exception of the regions of Kitri, Ionia Nisia, Dytiki Ellada and Sterea Ellada).
Norway (except the regions of Rogaland, Møre og Romsdal, Nordland, Viken,
Innlandet, Vestfold og Telemark, Agder, Vestland, Trøndelag and Troms og Finnmark).
The Netherlands
Portugal (with the exception of the Autonomous Region of the Azores)
Czech Republic


Countries outside the EU are those with an incidence rate of more than 150 per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days:

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cape Verde
Costa Rica
United Arab Emirates.
United States
Gibraltar (United Kingdom)
Northern Macedonia
French Polynesia (France)
Puerto Rico
United Kingdom
San Marino
San Martin


3- Once you are there, do you need to travel around Catalonia? Please note that you will need a certificate to justify your travel.
Tourism, for example, is not authorised. Among the possible exceptions are the following reasons:

  • Assistance to health and social centres, services and establishments.
  • Compliance with labor, professional, business, institutional or legal obligations.
  • Attendance at colleges, teachers and schools, including preschool.
  • Return to the place of main or family residence, for a justified need.
  • Assistance and care for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or especially vulnerable people.
  • Transfer to financial and insurance institutions or refueling stations in neighbouring territories.
  • Necessary or urgent actions before public, judicial or notarized bodies.
  • Renewals of permits and official documentation, as well as other non-deferrable administrative procedures.
  • Conducting non-deferrable official examinations or tests.
  • Exercise of the right of manifestation and political participation
  • Authorized national, international, and professional sports competitions.
  • Commuting for road work (transport, delivery,...).
  • By force majeure or situation of need.

Remember to take the self-administration certificate with you when you travel to Catalonia. It can be downloaded online.


FAQ - Answers to your most frequently asked questions:

Is tourism allowed in Barcelona at the present time?
Tourism is not allowed in Barcelona at this time. Catalonia has decided to limit the authorization of stays to very specific reasons listed in point 3 of this page. The idea is to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The controls are not frequent, but they are very strict.


Is it possible to do a PCR test at Barcelona El Prat Airport?

At the moment it is not possible to do a PCR test at Barcelona airport before returning to your country. The company "Eurofins Megalab" is responsible for creating this service at the airport since January 2021, but nothing is operational at the moment.

To do a PCR test less than 72 hours before returning to your country you must do it in Barcelona in private health services, (ask at the pharmacy nearest to your place of stay). More info In Covid Testing in Barcelona.


I have been vaccinated against Covid-19, can I travel to Spain more easily?

The Covid vaccine does not make it easier for you to travel to Spain or Barcelona. Therefore, you must respect the sanitary rules listed in this page: points 1, 2 and 3.

Despite the fact that you have been vaccinated and regardless of the number of injections or the name of the vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson&Johnson...) the same rules apply to any foreigner arriving in Spain, vaccinated or not.



A health passport to travel to Spain in 2021?

  • Vaccination against covid-19 has started in Spain since mid-January 2021. This three-stage vaccination campaign will take place throughout 2021 with the aim of vaccinating all priority groups: residents of nursing homes and the professionals who accompany them, dependent persons and health personnel, and then the rest of the population. The vaccine is free and voluntary.
  • The health passport is announced in Spain for May 2021, although its mode of operation is not yet known. It would be a vaccine booklet that may or may not include PCR tests. Spain would be one of the first European countries to facilitate the entry of travelers and tourists in its country if it could launch this vaccine passport.


Prepare your trip to Spain:

Last comment
@Thomas (19 Apr 2021 - 10:32)
Hello Thomas,
It is complicated to understand because there are on the one hand the sanitary rules at the national level (enacted by Madrid) and the local sanitary rules decided by Catalonia. To put it simply, what you can do in Madrid is not necessarily possible in Barcelona. In any case, it is best to have a document that proves authorized travel (point 3 of this page) to make your trip to Catalonia.

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  1. @Thomas - (19 Apr 2021 - 10:32)

    Hello Thomas,
    It is complicated to understand because there are on the one hand the sanitary rules at the national level (enacted by Madrid) and the local sanitary rules decided by Catalonia. To put it simply, what you can do in Madrid is not necessarily possible in Barcelona. In any case, it is best to have a document that proves authorized travel (point 3 of this page) to make your trip to Catalonia.

  2. Travel to barcelona - Thomas (19 Apr 2021 - 09:10)


    I'm travelling to Barcelona at the beginning of may (2nd).
    I'll have the QR code needed to enter spain and i'll have a PCR test.
    But do they check what you're gonna do in Barcelona at the airport? Of do you need the paper with your reason for travel around catalunia just in case they stop you in the street?
    I've called my embassy here in Belgium, and they said because it's allowed to travel to spain, Barcelona can't just deny my entrance... i'm confused, so i hope someone here can help me out.

    Thanks in advance!


  3. @Chici - (16 Apr 2021 - 09:10)

    Hello Chici,
    The idea is to show that this trip is professional. If you can prove that you are paid to do this apartment check that would be even better ;-)

  4. Travel to Barcelona from Madrid - Chici (16 Apr 2021 - 09:00)

    If I am going to check on a friends apartment after its been rented out and left - does that constitute a work reason? To fill out a form as such and should be ok?

  5. @Mike Nelson - (15 Apr 2021 - 15:12)

    Hello Mike Nelson,
    We do not yet know what will be decided by the Spanish government as well as by the region of Catalonia which is also in charge of this health crisis. We do not know either if England will be privileged to enter Spain. A certainty Spain expects for the middle of June this green passport decided by the European Union which should for the Europeans facilitate the movements.

  6. Passenger Arrivals at Malaga Airport - Mike Nelson (15 Apr 2021 - 08:44)

    As there has been some progress with the reduction of Covid-19 cases in the UK, culminating the statement from the Spanish Prime Minister who has stated that there will be no need to extend the State of Alarm beyond May 9th 2021.
    Will that mean people from the UK travelling for holiday's after the 20th May 2021, will these holiday maker's still need to produce medical certificates, PCR tests or any other form of tests to be allowed into Spain.??

  7. @Nick - (12 Apr 2021 - 09:24)

    Hello Nick,
    tourism is currently prohibited in Barcelona, a city for which you always need a good reason to come - list of authorizations in point 3 of this page-.
    However, these sanitary rules can change very quickly. Check this page regularly to be informed.

  8. travel to barcelona - Nick (12 Apr 2021 - 08:24)

    Hi, I want to travel to Barcelona at the end of this month, and I don't know if I am allowed to enter Barcelona as a tourist. I am not interested in travelling around Catalonia(as per point 3 of this document). Am I allowed to visit Barcelona or is it forbidden?

  9. Entering Barcelona - Robert (9 Apr 2021 - 08:28)

    The real information - Sanish Government can only close the borders, so People CAN enter Barcelona, no need for valid documents, only negative Covid test and QR code. Writing this from Barcelona right now.

  10. @Beth - (8 Apr 2021 - 08:00)

    Hello Beth,
    Try to get an official document (city hall) proving your marriage. Then you will just have to fill in the official documents required to enter the country. In any case, you should talk to the city hall, which will give you information about this.

  11. Wedding Travel - Beth (8 Apr 2021 - 07:50)

    Hi, I am an American with residency in Spain due to pareja de hecho with my Spanish partner. We were supposed to get married in November but postponed the wedding to June due to the current situation. How can I get a permission form for my parents and siblings to enter Spain from the USA for the wedding in late June. Thanks.

  12. @Leonardo - (7 Apr 2021 - 14:38)

    Hello Leonardo,
    Catalonia rule prevails concerning your question, that is for the moment turism is not allowed in Catalania. Good reasons for being in this area are listed on point 3 of this page.

  13. Enter Barcelona by plain - Leonardo (7 Apr 2021 - 12:16)

    @Hanna: I and my girlfriend wouldlike to travel from Turkey to Barcelona and stay for two weeks? We would not travel around Catalonia but just staying in the city.

    I checked the Spain Ministry of Health page ( and it seems to be fine, with the condition of having a PCR negative test result.

    According to your page and the Catalonia website, tourism is not valid a reason to enter Catalonia.

    Can you advise which rule prevails? Catalonia or national rules?


  14. @Hannah - (6 Apr 2021 - 09:52)

    Hello Hannah,
    For the moment tourism remains banned in Catalonia. However, new decisions are expected on April 9 2021, whether or not to continue the ban. For sure negative covid test will still be mandatory.

  15. Tourism in Barcelona - Hannah (6 Apr 2021 - 09:38)

    I'm living in the Netherlands and would like to know if Barcelona is open for tourism from April. If yes, is negative covid test is mandatory.

  16. @djo - (2 Apr 2021 - 10:10)

    Hello djo,
    Coming from Costa Rica or any other country at risk, you have to present PCR test and other sanitary documents at your arrival in Barcelona or Spain,

  17. traveling from costa rica - djo (2 Apr 2021 - 09:42)

    Hello, I'M travelling to Barcelona for medical reason. I was wondering if I need to present all the documents to justify my trip when I arrive in Spain or at the airport from where I travel? thank yu

  18. @David - (1 Apr 2021 - 10:48)

    Hell David
    For your business trip to Barcelona you do need the following health documents:
    - a PCR test done 72h before my arrival
    - the self-administration certificate
    - the Spain Travel Health QR Code
    To justify that you work a document of your company would be valid. A document from the Spanish companies you are going to meet on site would be even better.

  19. Going to Barcelona for work - David (1 Apr 2021 - 10:32)

    I am a French citizen working for a French company and I will need to go to Barcelona for work purposes.
    I am trying to figure out online what paperwork I should prepare and what my company should testify. From what I read I will need :
    - a PCR test done 72h before my arrival
    - the self-administration certificate
    - the Spain Travel Health QR Code
    What papers should my company fill ? Do they have to fill in a specific form ? I am asking because we have this kind of paperwork in France where companies certify someone can travel for work.

  20. @Chloe, - (1 Apr 2021 - 10:24)

    Hello Chloe,
    Europe has agreed to launch a Covid passport in mid-June 2021. Until then, being vaccinated does not make it easier to travel to Spain where a PCR test and other documents will still be required. For the month of May we hope for a softening of the rules but nothing is decided.

  21. Vaccinated Travel - Chloe (1 Apr 2021 - 10:16)

    Hello --

    I am American and fully vaccinated. I am hoping to come visit a loved one in May. Do you think that will be possible? Are there any more talks of a vaccination passport?

  22. @James - (31 Mar 2021 - 08:56)

    Hello James,
    You need a good reason to stay in Barcelona (point 3) - If you are working it's, of course, OK.

  23. Stay in barcelona - James (31 Mar 2021 - 08:50)

    Hello. I am travelling to barcelona this weekend and I am staying one night in the city with a friend. I then have a flight to madrid the following day to begin training at a new job.Will this be ok to be in barcelona?

  24. @Oliver - (28 Mar 2021 - 11:14)

    Hello Oliver,
    Visiting a property does not seem to be one of the valid reasons to enter Catalonia at the moment. All these reasons are listed in point 3 of this page.
    We remind here that tourism is prohibited at least until the end of the Easter holidays

  25. Possible to visit for property viewing? - Oliver (28 Mar 2021 - 11:08)

    Hola, is it possible to visit the city for 3-4 days in the next 2 weeks to view one or more properties? I am a UK citizen, thanks!

  26. @Emilia - (27 Mar 2021 - 11:24)

    Hello Emilia,
    For your Barcelona airport transit, you need an PCR Test and to fill this form:
    SpTH Spain Travel Health website:
    where no address is required, only your email??

    Please do no hesitate ton contact us again if any other question

  27. Transit - Emilia (26 Mar 2021 - 11:10)

    I can't fill in the covid form because ask me for un address and I'm only 4 hours at airport waiting for next flight?what I do ?

  28. @Ana - (23 Mar 2021 - 09:10)

    Hola Ana,
    Yes, you have to fill in the documents listed in this page to go to the Balearic Islands from Paris. These sanitary measures are valid until May 9, 2021, date on which it is possible that they will be softened (after the 2021 Easter vacations).
    More info on this official page:

  29. To baleares from France - Ana (23 Mar 2021 - 09:02)

    Do I need to give a justified reason (documents as proofs) to travel from Paris to Palma on may 7th 2021 ?
    Thank you for your answer

  30. @KH - (16 Mar 2021 - 09:38)

    Hello KH,
    First check is Jordan is a country at risk - point 2 of this page.
    Tourism is not allowed for the moment in Catalonia. On point 3 of this page find a matching reason to come to Barcelona or report your travel. it is possible that the regulations will be softened after the Easter holidays.
    Concerning the french visa best is to ask the spanish ambassy.

  31. Barcelona Travel - KH (15 Mar 2021 - 16:56)

    I’m a Jordanian passport holder with a 2 Years Schengen business visa from France who live in United Kingdom. I would like to visit Barcelona on 25th March for 1-2 weeks.

    Since I’m not a British and I hold a French 2 Years Schengen business visa. Is it possible for me to travel to Barcelona?

  32. @Ciara - (10 Mar 2021 - 11:14)

    Hello Ciara,
    Yes you need to fill this form
    If it is for working I suppose a letter from your au pair family is fine.

  33. Travel between communidads - Ciara (10 Mar 2021 - 11:06)

    Hi I am currently located in Valencia but am starting a new Au pair job in Barcelona, I am wondering what documents I’ll need to travel by train? Is a written letter from my au pair family ok?

  34. @Chole - (8 Mar 2021 - 11:52)

    Hello Chloe,
    Tourism is not allowed in Barcelona at the moment and will not be allowed until the end of March for sure.
    If you have one of the essential reasons for coming to Barcelona, please take the documents that best attest it in your opinion.
    Yes, you need the negative PCR test of less than 72 hours and the QR code in addition.

  35. Traveling to Barcelona - Chloe (8 Mar 2021 - 11:44)

    we plan to visit Barcelona from Paris at the end of the March.
    But is the touristic visit still not allowed ? should we have essential reason and documents to prove , in order to enter the Barcelona? (surely with Covid test and QR code) many thanks! Chloe

  36. @Lourdes - (6 Mar 2021 - 11:06)

    Hello Lourdes ,
    We are only an information site. Your case seems very special. The Spanish embassy in the USA should give the necessary help for your husband as well.
    Cheer up in your research.

  37. Travel to Barcelona - Lourdes (6 Mar 2021 - 10:54)

    Hello, I'm a Spanish citizen, but I lost my citizenship, and I'm in paperwork tramits to regain my Spanish citizenship. Right now I only have the US citizenship, I need to travel to BCN for urgent medical reasons for my brother. My husband is a US citizen. Via de Spanish Consulate in Washinton DC we have sent the paperwork that was asked: Passport of my brother, medical condition of my brother, my passport, my husband passport, my "Libro de familia" marriage certificate, and a letter for the reason of our trip. The Spanish Embassy sent these documents to CEFRONT, and CEFRONT has authorized my entry to Spain, but NOT for my husband. What can I do for someone to approve his entry. I sent an email with all the documentation to CEFRONT directly requesting reconsideration for his approval, but as of right now we haven't got an answer. Thank you!

  38. @Henri - (2 Mar 2021 - 17:34)

    Hello Henri,
    The authorities mean by "transit" when you stay in Barcelona airport and not when you cross Catalonia to go to Andorra from Barcelona. To do so, you need a valid reason, since at the moment you cannot move freely from one comarca to another.

  39. Traveling to Andorra - Henri (2 Mar 2021 - 17:28)

    Hi, is it possible to fly to barcelona from Germany in order to drive to Andorra for vacation? I read that transit is allowed but I am not sure if that only means if you stay in the airport or if you are allowed to travel through Catalonia if you are not staying in Catalonia.

  40. @Kiev - (1 Mar 2021 - 11:00)

    Hello Kiev,
    Among the derogations to enter in Catalonia, we note:
    - Any other activity of a similar nature, duly accredited.
    It's up to you to see if your medical visit is serious enough or not.

  41. MEDICAL APPOINTMENT - Roman (1 Mar 2021 - 09:30)

    Hi there Kiev,

    I have a medical appointment and test in Barcelona this week. If I have a negative test and have filled in the travel form, should I be able to enter Spain based on this reason? Many thanks

  42. @Kiev - (28 Feb 2021 - 10:20)

    Hello kiev,
    The day you travel, you must look on this site :
    if your country is not a country at risk.
    If not, you will have to follow the procedure indicated in this page with the QR Code, the PCR test and the travel authorization.
    Have a nice trip.

  43. Hawaii to Spain - Kiev (28 Feb 2021 - 10:12)

    Hello !

    I’m American and was wondering if i’m coming to Rota, Spain would I just need a negative test within three days of my trip or would I need specific reasoning to come?

  44. @Alex - (27 Feb 2021 - 10:28)

    Hello Alex,
    Even if you are going directly to Andorra from Barcelona airport, you must be able to show proof of travel because you will be passing through several different comarques (this is point 3 of this page).
    Have a good trip.

  45. Andorra - Alex (27 Feb 2021 - 10:00)

    If I am arriving in to Barcelona port having been quarantined for 3 months, can I drive straight to Andorra if I’m not staying in Barcelona?
    Thank you

  46. @Gaty - (26 Feb 2021 - 08:30)

    Hello Gaty,
    Officially, the Spanish government has not clarified its position regarding this private initiative that is the Travel Pass by IATA. If it will facilitate transport, it is not known if it will avoid other types of controls and documents to enter Spain.

  47. Travel Pass - Gaty (25 Feb 2021 - 09:52)

    Is Travel Pass by IATA admitted to travel to Spain?

  48. @Patrícia - (24 Feb 2021 - 08:14)

    Hello Patrícia,
    You're right, we hadn't noticed that.
    Maybe the mobile app version is different?
    We are looking for an official explanation, but we think you have a very good excuse!
    Have a good journey,

  49. QR Health Code - Patrícia (24 Feb 2021 - 07:56)

    Hi ! We are traveling to Barcelona from UK by car ! We have all the paperwork done and proof of a valid reason to travel! The only document that we don’t have is the QR Health Code as in order to filling out we need the flight number that we don’t have because we are driving!! Is there any other document ? Are we exempt because we are driving? Thanks

  50. @Omar - (19 Feb 2021 - 09:02)

    Hello Omar,
    Requirements for entering Spain from France by train are the same as by car that is :
    QR Health Code and point 3 of this page the "self-administration certificate" to justify your travels in Catalonia.


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