Are there travel restrictions in Barcelona?

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While Spain is still struggling to resume its daily activities across all regions, Catalonia gets ready to ease its lockdown restrictions by maintaining effective guidelines. This includes granting access to travel and reopening the local bars and restaurants while following the social distancing protol along with wearing masks mandatorily whenever you step out outside. Check out everything that you need to know before you plan a visit to Barcelona.

Disclaimer: This blog is updated weekly to the best of our knowledge. For the latest travel advisories, we recommend checking the official government website.

Travel Restrictions in Barcelona - An Overview

New travel restrictions allow visitors to enter Spain from low-risk countries by presenting the health control form along with undergoing a PCR test to submit a negative test result within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Spain.

International travellers will be required to quarantine only if they have COVID-19 symptoms. These rules will come into effect starting November 23rd, 2020 and are likely to change depending on the progress made by the region.

Who Can Visit Barcelona Now?

Transportation in Barcelona - Restrictions

Based on the latest guidelines stated by the Mobility and Transport authority, a new and effective system has been put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Here is everything you need to know before you travel again:

  • Face masks must be worn at all times when using public transportation.
  • It is mandatory to cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues or inside of the elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • It is advised to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or by using a hydroalcoholic gel as soon as you leave the public transportation.
  • Use public transportation only if necessary. Residents are asked to work remotely as much as possible. If you have to step out, avoid peak times whenever possible.
  • Passengers are requested to stand patiently in an orderly queue at the entrances and exits of the train and metro stations by maintaining a safe distance whenever required.
  • On the platforms and bus stops, leave plenty of space in front of the doors, allowing space for travellers to step out.
  • For bus tickets, passengers are required to purchase them online, through the TMB App or via the metro station’s vending machines at the bus stop.
  • Any activity involving the removal of face masks on public transport such as eating, drinking, should be done once you step out outside, in the open air.
  • The public transportation network continues to operate at full capacity and offer 100% of its service even though its demand has dropped significantly.
  • Limits on night services are in place for all rail services including metro, FGC and Tram where the operations stop by midnight.
  • Cleaning and disinfection measures at trains and stations will be done frequently.

Eating out in Barcelona - Restrictions

While the outdoor dining restrictions still remain strict across many regions in Spain, Catalonia has decided to ease its guidelines by continuing to maintain effective measures within all bars and restaurants starting November 23rd 2020. Changes will be updated every two weeks depending on the progress seen. Find out the new steps introduced by the government before you head out again:

  • Bars and restaurants will reopen from 6 am to 9:30 pm.
  • Bar terraces: a safe distance of two meters must be maintained between tables and a maximum of four people will be allotted per table (except for bubble groups).
  • Inside bars and restaurants: capacity has been reduced to 30% with no limit for outdoor seating.
  • Guests will be allowed to take off their mask in bars and restaurants once seated at a table.
  • At present upto six guests will be allowed. However, this will be changed to ten from December 21st, enabling larger groups to celebrate Christmas and New Year together.
  • Greater ventilation system will be put in place for better air circulation within closed spaces.

Barcelona Travel Protocols

Currently, the entry and exit of travelers from Catalonia is limited due to the closure imposed by the Catalan government. During the weekend, the entry and exit of each municipality is restricted, from Friday 6am to Monday 6am. Limitations have also been placed on night mobility that does not allow the movement between 10pm and 6am. Nonetheless, international travelers can still visit Spain under certain exemptions. Find out safety measures to be followed before making a visit.

  • You can travel to Spain if you are travelling from the European Union, from a country in the Schengen area, or from another country which has a reciprocal agreement with Spain for accepting travellers. These are Australia, China, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand and Uruguay.
  • In all cases, starting November 23rd, travelers will be required to do a PCR test and submit a negative test result within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Spain.
  • Travelers will be required to self-isolate only if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Travelers must fill in a health control form (FCS) and sign it electronically before travelling to Spain. This can be done via internet, smartphone application, or with a document before you board the flight. After you sign it you will receive a QR code which needs to be presented when you arrive in Spain.
  • All travelers arriving in Spain via air or sea will require to undergo a health check. This check may include having their temperature taken, checking their documents, and a visual examination of the passenger’s state of health. You must show your health control form (FCS) in all cases.
  • All tourists going to Canary Islands must present a negative PCR or antigen test taken no more than 72 hours earlier.
  • Travelers from countries can visit if they fall into the following categories:
    1. Students who study in one of the EU/Schengen member states and hold an appropriate visa and medical insurance who are traveling within the course of their academic studies or 15 days prior.
    2. Highly qualified workers including participants in high-level sporting events that take place in Spain.
    3. People traveling for duly accredited family reasons.
    4. People traveling for humanitarian reasons.
    5. Health professionals coming to Spain for work.
    6. Goods and transport personnel.
    7. Diplomats, consular, international officials, military personnel, civil protection and members of humanitarian organizations.

Quarantine Rules in Barcelona

At the moment it is not necessary for travellers to quarantine when entering Spain. However, you will have to undergo temperature checks, fill out the health control form and also do a PCR test before arrival. It should be taken no more than 72 hours before you enter Spain.

Tips For Staying Safe in Barcelona

  • On weekends, from Friday 6am to Monday 6am it is prohibited to leave Barcelona expect for reasons of force majeure.
  • Only essential shops are open by maintaining a safe distance along with significantly reduced capacity.
  • Gathering of over 6 people is forbidden.
  • Gym, cinema and theatre, concert halls and auditoriums will reopen at 50% capacity up to a maximum of 500 people.
  • Commercial establishments of over 800 square meters will reopen at 30% capacity.
  • The night-time mobility is banned from 10 pm to 6 am.
  • It is highly recommended to stay at home if you’re feeling sick unless you are leaving for essential medical care (including COVID-19 testing) or other essential errands.
  • A social distancing of at least 2 meters needs to be maintained from others.
  • Chances are you can be contagious without symptoms and might spread the disease when you cough, sneeze or even talk. Face masks help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Smoking is banned on all public areas.
  • It is now mandatory to wear face masks in all public spaces. Travelers will be fined €100 if they fail to follow these guidelines.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or you can also use hydroalcoholic sanitizers if available.
  • Avoid large gatherings as this highers the risk of getting affected by COVID-19.