Tourist Information Guide

COVID-19 Certificates To Travel to Barcelona, Spain By Air, Sea or Land in 2021 And Health Control Checkpoints

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Latest update: 14 July 2021

The information provided on this page is accurate as of the date indicated above. However requirements for entry to Spain can change on a day-to-day basis and we strongly advise you to check the official Spanish Health COVID-19 advisory website for the current requirements for your country.

Spanish Health COVID-19 advisory website

This page provides information about the mandatory coronavirus certificates for travellers arriving to Barcelona, Spain by air, sea or land from ‘risk countries’ and about the Health Control checkpoints at Spanish airports and ports.

Travellers walking towards the Health Control checkpoint at Barcelona Airport
Travellers walking towards the Health Control checkpoint at Barcelona Airport

Important Disclaimer

Before we start, we need to make this disclaimer. We take every step to ensure our information is accurate and up to date, however, changes occur rapidly, and we may not be aware of all updates to the COVID-19 regulations. We therefore advise you to cross-check our information against official government health websites before you take action. Please note, if you act on any of the information that we give, you agree to do so at your own risk.


To enter Spain: Negative COVID test certificate, or vaccination certificate, or certificate of recovery or European Digital Covid Certificate

According to the Spain Travel Health website of the Spanish Health Ministry: from the 7 June 2021 all passengers arriving to Spain from a list of countries available on this this specific page of the Spanish Travel Health website that are qualified as being risk countries for Coronavirus, must present one of the following certificates to enter Spain:
1. A negative COVID test certificate for a COVID test taken within 48 hours of your arrival to Spain. COVID tests accepted: NAAT tests, e.g.: RT-PCR tests, RT-LAMP tests, TMA and rapid antigen tests.
2. Or a certificate that prooves you had a full COVID-19 vaccination 14 days before entering Spain. For 2 shots vaccine, the vaccination is considered as full or complete once the 2 shots have been administrated.
3. Or a certificate of immunity after having recovered from COVID-19. The certificate of recovery are valid from day 11 after your first positive NAAT test result and up to 180 days, which equalts to approximately 6 months.

Since the 1st of July 2021, the date on which the European Digital Covid Certificate entered into force in Europe, passengers arriving to Spain from any European country considered as a risk country for Coronavirus, can also enter Spain presenting their European Digital Covid Certificate or any of the 3 certificates mentioned above. The list of countries considered as a risk country to enter Spain is available on this specific page of the Spanish Travel Health.

Note that the European Digital Covid Certificate is also referred to as the Green Digital Certificate or as the European Green Digital Certificate. All these terms refer to the same European certificate.

The European Green Digital Certificate is simply a digital certificate that prooves that you have had a negative COVID test, or a full vaccination against COVID, or a certificate of recovery. So if you're an European citizen, you can either enter Spain with one of the 3 above-mentioned certificates or with your European Digital Covid Certificate. If you're a non-European citizen, you will need one of the 3 above-mentioned certificates to enter Spain.

The COVID certificates must be in English, French, German or Spanish. If your certificate is included in your European Digial Certificate then the language is not a problem as European Digital Covid Certificates are issued in the language of the country where it was issued and also in English. However, if you do not have a European Digital Covid Certificate and if your COVID certificate is not in one of the 4 above mentioned languages, it will need to be accompanied by a translation into Spanish made by an official translator.

You can find more information about the EU Digital Covid Certificate and COVID certificates needed to enter Spain on the Frequently Asked Questions page of the Spanish Health Ministry.

On this specific page of the Spanish Travel Health website, under the blue heading ‘RISK COUNTRIES / AREAS, you'll find the list in pdf format of EU countries and non EU countries, referred to as 'third countries' for which one of the 3 above-mentioned certificates or the European Digital Covid Certificate is needed to be able to enter Spain.

According to the Spain Travel Health website, children under 12 do no need to present any COVID certificate to enter Spain.

However, all passengers travelling to Spain by plane from any country will also need to fill out a Health Control Form for arrivals by air and present it upon arrival to any Spanish airport, including children and infants. All passengers arriving to spain by sea from any country, will need to fill out a Health Control Form for arrivals by sea.

In conclusion, if you’re arriving to Spain from one of the countries included in the above mentioned list of risk countries, you can enter Spain for any reason, including tourism, and you won’t need to justify the reason why you’re coming to Spain. You will need your usual travel documents and:


If you need an antigen or PCR test travel certificate to travel back to your country you can easily get tested in a private laboratory in Barcelona.


COVID-19 tests to travel to Barcelona, Spain

As explained above, a negative COVID-19 test certificate for a test made within 48 hours before your arrival to Spain is needed if you do not have a certificate of a full COVID-19 vaccination made at least 14 days before your arrival to Spain or a certificate of COVID immunity. Your coronavirus test certificate can be a simple supporting document or can be included in your European Digital Covid Certificate.

Several types of COVID-19 tests are accepted to enter Spain and thefore Barcelona. These are the rapid antigen tests also known as RAT tests and the nucleic acid amplification tests also referred to as NAAT tests. The Spanish Health Ministry website states that the following NAAT tests are accepted:

Children under 12 do not need to present any of these COVID certificates.

COVID test certificates that are not included in a EU Digital Covid Certificate must be written in English, French, German or Spanish. If you get tested in a non English, Spanish, German of French speaking country we highly recommend you to request your lab to provide your coronavirus test results in English. If you cannot get your test certificate in any of these languages, your test certificate will need to be translated into Spanish by an official translator and you will need to present both documents to the Authorities.

The language of COVID test certificates included in a European Digital Covid Certificate won't be an issue as European Digital Covid Certificates are issued in the language of the country where it was issued and in English.

    The negative coronavirus test certificate to enter Spain must contain your name, your passport or ID number, the date you got tested, the identification and contact details of the lab where you got tested, the testing technique used and the negative result.

Your negative COVID test certificate and European Digital COVID Certificate can be presented to the Authorities in paper or from a mobile device and must be the original document.

We recommend you to read the Frequently Asked Questions page of the Spanish Health Ministry on the European Digital Covid Certificate and other Covid Certificates to double check the information provided above.


COVID-19 vaccination certificate to travel to Barcelona, Spain

As explained at the top of this page, you can enter Spain with a vaccination certificate, whether it is on a simple supporting document or included in your your EU digital certificate if you're a European citizen.

For the vaccination certificate to be valid to enter Spain, you must have received a complete vaccination at least 14 days before your arrival to Spain.

If your COVID-19 vaccination certificate is a simple supporting document and is not included in your EU digital certificate, it must be written in English, French, German or Spanish and include the date of complete vaccination, the name of the vaccine administered and the country where you got vaccinated.

The language of COVID vaccination certificates included in a European Digital Covid Certificate won't be an issue as European Digital Covid Certificates are issued in the language of the country where it was issued and in English.

Your COVID vaccination certificate will be valid to enter Spain during 1 year from the date of vaccination. For vaccines that require two shots, the FAQ of the Spanish Health Ministry does not specify if the 1 year validity of the vaccination certificate is based on the date of the first shot or of the second shot. This will probably be clarified shortly.

Children under 12 do not need to present any certificate -vaccination certificate, COVID test certificate or COVID immunity certificate- to enter Spain.


COVID-19 recovery certificate to travel to Barcelona, Spain

As explained at the top of this page, you can enter Spain with a COVID-19 recovery certificate, whether it is on a simple supporting document or included in your your EU digital certificate if you're a European citizen.

The recovery certificates correspond to a test proving you had COVID, that must be performed between the 11th and the 180th day following the date of your first positive NAAT test.

The certificates that proves recovery from COVID must indicate:

  • the date of your first positive COVID test
  • that you have passed the disease and that you are not infectious or contagious,
  • the country where the certificate was issued
  • Certificates of recovery are valid if

If your COVID-19 recovery certificate is a simple supporting document and is not included in your EU digital certificate, it must be written in English, French, German or Spanish. The language of COVID recovery certificates included in a European Digital Covid Certificate won't be an issue as European Digital Covid Certificates are issued in the language of the country where it was issued and in English.

Children under 12 do not need to present any certificate -COVID immunityor recovery certificatevaccination certificate, COVID test certificate or COVID vaccination- to enter Spain.


Video of the Spanish Ministry of Health that explains the COVID certificates and Health Control Form you need to travel to Spain



If you need an antigen or PCR test travel certificate to travel back to your country you can easily get tested in a private laboratory in Barcelona.


Obligatory COVID certificates required to travel to Spain by land from France

According to the official website of the French Embassy in Spain, presenting a negative COVID test certificate, or vaccination certificate, or certificate of recovery or European Digital Covid Certificate is also mandatory when travelling from France to Spain by land, ie: by train, bus, car.

As the situation changes rapidly, we strongly advise you to visit the official website of the French Embassy in Spain to check the COVID requirements in place at the time of your road trip from France to Barcelona.

The page of the official website of the French embassy in Spain about travel requirements between France and Spain is only available in French, however once you're on the page, you can right click and select 'Translate to English' or to the language of your choice to get an automated translation of the content of the page.

The COVID certificate requirements to enter Spain from France by land are the same as the requirements explained above on this page.

The only difference is that you will not need to complete and present a Health Control Form when crossing the Spanish border by land.


COVID requirements for travel to Spain by land from Italy

As the COVID situation is rapidly changing, we recommend you to check the official website Reopen Europe to see if COVID certificates are needed when travelling from Italy to Spain by land, ie: by train, bus, car. We also recommend that you check the list of risk countries and areas on the Spain Travel Heath website for which COVID certificates are mandatory to see if Italy or the Italian region you're coming from are considered to be at risk by Spain. You'll find the list of risk countries and areas under the blue heading ‘RISK COUNTRIES / AREAS, in pdf format on the Spain Travel Heath website.


COVID requirements for travel to Spain by land from Portugal

According to the official website of the Spanish Embassy in Portugal, since 1 May 2021, there are no controls at the land border when entering Spain from Portugal and no COVID certificate is required when entering Spain from Portugal.

As the situation changes rapidly, we strongly advise you to visit the official website of the Spanish Embassy in Portugal to check the COVID requirements in place at the time of your road trip from Portugal to Barcelona.

The page of the official website of the Spanish Embassy in Portugal is only available in Spanish, however once you're on the page, you can right click and select 'Translate to English' or to the language of your choice to get an automated translation of the content of the page.


Health Control upon arrival to Spain by air or sea

Travellers entering Spain by air or sea from any other country -even countries that are not in the list of risk countries- will need to go through Health Control.

At Barcelona Airport the Health Control checkpoint consists of separate lines to go from the Customs area to the Luggage Claim area for travellers arriving from other Spanish destinations and travellers arriving from any other countries.

Travellers arriving from other countries than Spain must follow the Health Control lines.

The Health Control consists of a visual control by Health agents, a temperature control and of handing over your Health Control form (also called FCS form).

Green Health Control lines for travellers arriving from outside Spain at Barcelona airport
Green Health Control lines for travellers arriving from outside Spain at Barcelona airport

Your temperature will be taken with non contact thermometers or with thermal imaging cameras and you will need to present your Public Health Control Form.

Filling out the Public Health Control Form form is a two stage easy process:

Stage 1. After booking your plane or cruise tickets, you will need to register on the Spanish Travel Health website for arrivals by air or on the Spanish Travel Health website for arrivals by sea.

You will need to provide your name, surname, passport or ID number, flight or cruise number, arrival date and email address.

You'll receive the registration confirmation with detailed instructions on how to fill out and when to fill out the Public Health Control Form.


Our Insider Tip

We recommend you create an account or log in your account on the airline website to book your flights so that the Spanish Travel Health website and the public health passenger locator form links are available together with your booking details in your account.


Stage 2. Within 2 days before your flight or cruise arrival date to Barcelona, you will need to complete the Public Health Control form. You'll be asked a series of health questions.

Upon completion of the form, you will receive a QR code that you will need to show before boarding and also to the Spanish authorities upon arrival at Barcelona airport or cruise port.

You can either print the QR code or download the QR code app or do a screenshot of the QR code and save it on your mobile phone.

The Public Health Control Form is also available from the Spain Travel Health-Spth App that you can download on Android and iOS.


Our Insider Tip

If you do not fill out the public health passenger locator form in advance you will have the option to do it on the plane however you'll have to queue upon arrival at Barcelona airport to present your form to the Spanish authorities. We recommend you fill out the form online within 2 days before your flight so that you'll only have to quickly show your QR code at Barcelona airport without having to queue.


After passing the Health Control you’ll be able to collect your luggage at the Luggage Claim.

Informative signs about the Public Health Form in the Health Control lines at Barcelona Airport
Informative signs about the Public Health Form in the Health Control lines at Barcelona Airport

If you have COVID-19 symptoms at the Health Control such as an elevated temperature higher than 37.5°C you will undergo a rapid antigen test in a specially designated area at the airport even if you have a negative PCR, TMA or RT-LAMP test travel certificate.
You will have to wait for the results in one of the waiting rooms. Results will be available typically within 1 hour under normal circumstances.
The price of the antigen test is covered by the Spanish Government.

If you test positive, health protocols will be activated and you will be taken to a medical centre.

If you test negative, you can carry on normally with your plans.

Learn more about how to visit Barcelona during COVID-19.


If you need an antigen or PCR test travel certificate to travel back to your country you can easily get tested in a private lab in Barcelona.

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