Welcome to our COVID-19 page. We will aim to answer all your questions regarding travelling to Barcelona in the times of Coronavirus. (Last updated: 10th July 2020).
Coronavirus hit Spain pretty hard in Spring of 2020, but after one of Europe’s most extreme lockdowns and a four phases deescalation process, the country made the transition from ‘State of Alarm’ to the ‘New Normal’ on June 19th, and since June 21st it has been possible to visit the country as a tourist.
Speaking from a personal perspective it’s been a joy to watch the city come back to life again after the monotony and isolation of lockdown, and while it won’t be possible to enjoy some of the pleasures we took for granted only a few months ago this summer (no large festivals or Barça matches will be taking place in the immediate future!), the vast majority of Barcelona museums, attractions, hotels, bars, shops and restaurants are now open for business.
Given the uncertainty of recent months and ever-changing government policies, you no doubt have some questions and concerns about how COVID-19 might affect your Barcelona travels, and I’ll do my best to answer those questions. Please note I’ve tried to find official government sources or reliable international news organisations, but you should make your own up to date checks before booking any travel. You should also check with your chosen airlines, hotels, tours etc. for any special information you need to use their services, as measures may differ from company to company.
FAQs: How Does COVID-19 Affect My Travels?
Will I have to undergo quarantine if I travel to Barcelona?
Spain has lifted mandatory quarantine restrictions for visitors from the UK, and from EU countries and the rest of the Schengen area (source: BBC). However you may have to face quarantine when you return to your own country, depending on your country's own policy. Non-UK and EU countries should check their governments' advice on travel.
Will I be screened for coronavirus at the airport?
Yes, incoming visitors will be screened for temperature, as well as asked their point of origin and their address in Barcelona during their stay, as part of a 'triple check'. (source: BBC). UPDATE: Travellers must fill out an FCS form before travelling, and present their QR code at the airport. Form on www.spth.gob.es.
What measures must I abide by in Barcelona during the pandemic?
The public are asked to maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres whenever possible. Additionally anyone over the age of 6 is obliged to wear a mask in public spaces (in and outdoors). Exceptions include when eating or drinking, or doing sport, or if you have breathing difficulties. More advice and info on Barcelona.cat.
How many cases of Coronavirus are there in Spain right now?
After a bad start Spain has done a commendable job of controlling the spread of the virus, with just a few hundred new cases each day and from 0-5 deaths a day (in late June). Worldometer is the best resource to check the latest statistics.
Is it safe to travel by plane during a pandemic?
There is no 100% safe way to avoid infection, however given that airplanes filter and renew their air every 2-3 minutes it is thought that travelling by plane carries a much lower risk of contagion than almost any other indoor space. More info on the BBC. Additionally most airports and air carriers are starting to enforce mandatory use of masks.
Are beaches in Barcelona open?
The beaches in Barcelona are open, but with reduced capacity to ensure that social distancing can be maintained. When they get full, officials gate off access to prevent overcrowding. In general this is only likely to happen at the weekend, late in the afternoon. The city has installed special sensors to monitor the beaches.
Are museums in Barcelona open?
Yes museums are open. Visitors are asked to wear masks and observe social distancing.
Are bars, restaurants and clubs in Barcelona open?
Bars and restaurants are open, with reduced seating to allow for social distancing. Nightclubs are also open, but their dancefloors are closed. In all cases masks must be worn, except when sitting at a table.
Can I travel freely between regions in Spain?
Yes. There have been isolated cases of new lockdowns, such as in Segria, A Marina and Albacete, possibly caused by the arrival of seasonal agricultural workers, and these areas cannot be visited or passed through, so keep an eye on the news. Source: 20 minutos.
Is public transport running in Barcelona?
Yes, the metro is running as normal. Buses are running with reduced services. Masks are required and it is recommended to wash hands before and after using any service.
What festivals and events are taking place in Barcelona?
Major sporting events and festivals have been cancelled, while others such as Sala Montjuic, Festa Major de Gracia are pressing ahead with revised protocols. Cruilla will take place as a series of concerts in iconic spaces around Barcelona.
Is it a legal requirement to wear a mask in Barcelona?
Yes, as of 9th July, it is a requirement to wear a mask in public anywhere in the region of Catalonia, with infractions incurring on the spot fines of up to €100. More info on the BBC.
The key points for travelling to Barcelona and Spain are.
- You must fill out the FCS form for the Spanish Ministry of Health, which you can do via their website: https://www.spth.gob.es or via their app. Go to the website or search for SpTH in the Google Play store to download the app (iPhone app available soon on iTunes). This form must be filled out at least 48 hours before you travel. Once completed you will receive a QR code to present at the airport.
- Those over the age of 6 must wear a mask at all times in public, with just a few exceptions, which you can read about here: https://www.barcelona.cat/covid19/en/lockdown-exit-strategy-city
Aside from these points, you should exercise common sense and travel with a full insurance policy.
Travellers from the UK are advised to check the latest travel information from the Foreign Office, before travelling:
Other nationalities should check their equivalent government body, for rules and issues pertaining to them.