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: https://www.spth.gob.es/
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).
Portugal (with the exception of the Autonomous Region of the Azores)
Countries outside the EU are those with an incidence rate of more than 150 per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
United Arab Emirates.
Gibraltar (United Kingdom)
French Polynesia (France)
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:
- Find all the information about arrivals and departures at Barcelona airport. Which terminal is currently working?
- In Barcelona Coronavirus find the news, from day to day, on the restrictions and sanitary measures in force, including what is open and what is closed in Barcelona and Catalonia.
- In Covid Testing in Barcelona where to get a covid test near to you during your stay.
- The hotels are open in Barcelona right now. For your safety a new sanitary protocol for a safer stay is now in place! Book your hotel in Barcelona