Tourist Information Guide

How To Travel Between France And Barcelona During The COVID-19 Pandemic

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Latest update: 08 March 2022

Borders between France and Spain are open whether it be air or land borders. Flights, trains and buses between France and Spain are also operating. We will explain the COVID-19 entry requirements when travelling between France and Barcelona on this page.

There might be local restrictions and regulations in France and in Barcelona that you must take into account before and when travelling.

This page provides information on:
1. The documents you need to travel from France to Barcelona by plane, train, bus and car
2. The documents you need to travel from Barcelona to France by plane, train, bus and car
3. The current COVID-related restrictions in Barcelona, if any
4. The current COVID-related restrictions in France, if any


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.


Documents you need to travel from France to Barcelona by air or sea:

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

COVID-19 certificates needed to enter Spain vary depending on the category of country you´re entering Spain from. Countries can be classified into these 2 different categories:

  • EU countries, Schengen associated states, and a list of third countries whose nationals meet specific entry conditions set by the Spanish Health Ministry
  • Nationals from third countries who meet the specific entry condition set by the Spanish Health Ministry of having a valid COVID-19 certificate

We´ll explain below which are the COVID-19 entry requirements for Spain for each of these categories.

COVID certificates requirements if you enter Spain from EU countries, Schengen associated states, and if you´re a third country national who meets specific conditions

If you enter Spain from a EU country, a Schengen associated state or if you are a third country national who meets specific conditions set by the Spanish Health Ministry, you will need to present one of the COVID-19 certificates listed below to enter Spain.

EU Countries include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Schengen countries include: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland.

Specific entry conditions for third country nationals can be found on the Spanish Health Ministry website under section: Entry requirements for entry in Spain from third countries. If you meet conditions A to J, the same COVID-19 certificate requirements as EU nationals and Schengen country nationals apply to you.

COVID-19 certificates or EU Digital COVID Certificates or equivalents required to enter Spain:

1. A negative COVID-19 test certificate for a COVID test taken within 24 hours of your departure to Spain for Rapid Antigen Tests and within 72 hours of your departure to Spain for NAAT tests (Nucleic Acid Amplification tests) such as PCR tests (Polymerase Chain Reaction tests), LAMP tests (Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification tests), NEAR tests (Nicking Endonuclease Amplification Reaction tests). You can also present your EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC) of your negative COVID test or equivalent to the Spanish authorities.

2. OR a COVID-19 vaccination certificate that proves you had a full COVID-19 vaccination between 14 days and 270 days before entering Spain with one of the vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency or the World Health organization website. The list of vaccines valid to enter Spain can be found on these two websites:
European Medicines Agency official website of the European Union
World Health organization website

For unique-dose vaccines, you are considered fully vaccinated after your single dose. For 2 shots vaccine, you´re considered fully vaccinated once the 2 shots have been administrated. You will be able to enter Spain with your COVID-19 vaccination certificate 14 days after the date you´re considered fully vaccinated.

From 1 February 2022, vaccination certificates become invalid after 270 days of you being fully vaccinated, which equals to approximately 9 months. You will need to get a booster dose for your vaccination certificate to be valid to enter Spain. You vaccination certificate will need to show the administration of your booster dose.

You will be able to enter Spain with your COVID-19 vaccination certificate as long as your last dose is of a vaccine authorized by the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organization, even if your first doses were not.

You can also present your EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC) of vaccination or equivalent to the Spanish authorities.

3. OR a COVID-19 certificate of immunity after having recovered from COVID. The certificate of recovery are valid from day 11 after your first positive NAAT test result and up to 180 days, which equals to approximately 6 months.

You can also present your EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC) of recovery or equivalent to the Spanish authorities.


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, can enter Spain presenting their European Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) or any of the 3 certificates mentioned above. The COVID certificates checks by the Spanish Authorities at Airport of Barcelona will be faster for those who have a EU Digital COVID Certificate or a EU equivalent.

Equivalents to the EU Digital COVID Certificate are issued by 40 non EU countries that have joined the EU Digital COVID Certificate program.

The 40 non EU countries and territories also included in the EU Digital COVID Certificate program include: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Benin, Cabo Verde, Colombia, El Salvador, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Israel, Iceland, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man), Uruguay, Vietnam, The Vatican.

You can find the list of the non EU countries and territories included in the EU Digital COVID Certificate program on the EU official page on EU Digital COVID Certificates.

Those who enter Spain with a EU Digital COVID Certificate or equivalent issued by any of the 40 non EU countries will not need to fill out the Health Control Form also know as the QR SPTH or as the QR of the Spain Travel Health authority. More information on the Health Control Form is provided below on this page.

Note that the European Digital COVID Certificate is also referred to as the EU DCC, 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 proves that you have had a negative COVID test, or a full vaccination against COVID, or a certificate of recovery. So if you're a European citizen, you can either enter Spain with one of the 3 above-mentioned certificates or with your European Digital COVID Certificate.

If you do not have a EU Digital COVID Certificate or equivalent, your COVID certificate must be in English, French, German or Spanish. If you have a European Digital COVID Certificate or equivalent 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 or equivalent 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 our page about the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

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


COVID requirements if you enter Spain from a third country and do not meet certain special conditions

If you are a third country national, make sure to check the special conditions to enter Spain listed on the Spanish Health Ministry website, under section: Entry requirements for entry in Spain from third countries. If, as a third country national, you meet one of the special conditions A to J, the COVID certificate requirements that apply to you are listed in the above section. If, as a third country national, you only meet the special condition K listed on the Spanish Health Ministry website, under section: Entry requirements for entry in Spain from third countries and none of the other conditions, you will only by able to enter Spain with a valid certificate of vaccination. You will not be able to enter Spain with a certificate of a negative COVID test nor with a certificate of recovery.

COVID-19 vaccination certificate required to enter Spain:
A COVID-19 vaccination certificate that proves you had a full COVID-19 vaccination between 14 days and 270 days before entering Spain with one of the vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency or the World Health organization website. The list of vaccines valid to enter Spain can be found on these two websites:
European Medicines Agency official website of the European Union
World Health organization website

For unique-dose vaccines, you are considered fully vaccinated after your single dose. For 2 shots vaccine, you´re considered fully vaccinated once the 2 shots have been administrated. You will be able to enter Spain with your COVID-19 vaccination certificate 14 days after the date you´re considered fully vaccinated.

From 1 February 2022, vaccination certificates become invalid after 270 days of you being fully vaccinated, which equals to approximately 9 months. You will need to get a booster dose for your vaccination certificate to be valid to enter Spain. You vaccination certificate will need to show the administration of your booster dose.

You will be able to enter Spain with your COVID-19 vaccination certificate as long as your last dose is of a vaccine authorized by the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organization, even if your first ones were not.

Additional Health Control Form QR code needed for entering Spain by air

Any passenger travelling to Spain with a EU Digital COVID Certificate of vaccination, of negative COVID test or of recovery, or a EU equivalent do not need to fill out a Health Control form to enter Spain anymore. EU equivalents to the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) refer to digital accreditations of vaccination, of negative COVID test or of recovery issued by the authorities of the 37 non-EU countries that have joined the EU Digital COVID Certificate program. The list of these countries is provided above on this page.

So if you´re entering Spain with any of the 3 documents below issued by EU countries or their equivalent issued by the 37 non EU countries and territories listed above, you do not need to fill out any Health Control Form:

  • EU Digital COVID Certificate of vaccination or EU equivalent,
  • or EU Digital COVID Certificate of a negative COVID test or EU equivalent
  • or EU Digital COVID Certificate of recovery or a EU equivalent

However if you do not have a EU Digital COVID Certificate or a EU equivalent, eg. if you´re travelling with a simple certificate of a negative COVID test, you will also need to fill out a Health Control Form for arrivals by air and present it upon arrival to any Spanish airport.

Health Control Form is not required when entering Spain by land, e.g.: by car, train, bus or by sea, e.g.: by cruise.

According to the Spain Travel Health website of the Spanish Health Ministry, children under 12 do not need to present any COVID certificate to enter Spain and do not need to fill out a Health Control Form.

Documents you need to travel from France to Barcelona by train, bus or car:

You will need the same above-mentioned certificates that are needed to travel from France to Barcelona by air or sea.

However, when arriving to Spain by land, you will not need to complete the Health Control Form, that only needs to be completed for arrivals at Barcelona Airport or at Barcelona Cruise port.

In addition, you will also need your valid ID card or passport.


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


Note that if you're a French resident, since the 7 July 2021, you can only claim a refund to the French Social Security for a COVID PCR or antigen test taken in Barcelona if you have to get a test for medical reasons. Until the 6 July 2021, you could claim a refund for a COVID PCR or antigen test taken in Barcelona to travel back to France. You will find more information on this page: How to get a refund from French Social Security for PCR or antigen test undertaken in Barcelona for travel back to France.


Documents you need to travel from Barcelona to France by plane, train, bus or car

To enter France: Negative Covid test certificate or vaccination certificate or European Digital Covid Certificate

According to the France Diplomacy official website, and to the official website of the French Ministry of Interior, France requires travellers coming from Spain and Europe to present one of the following certificates:

1. A COVID-19 vaccination certificate that proves you have been fully vacccinated less than 9 months ago or that you´ve received a booster dose. For two-shot vaccines, your vaccination certificate will only be valid to enter France if you received your second shot at least 7 days before your arrival to France and no later than 9 months ago. For one-shot vaccines or if you already had COVID and only needed one shot of a two shot vaccine, your vaccination certificate will only be valid to enter France if you received your shot at least 7 days before your arrival to France and no later than 9 months ago. For one-shot vaccines (Johnson & Johnson) when you never had COVID, your vaccination certificate will only be valid to enter France if you received your shot at least 4 weeks before your arrival to France and no later than 9 months ago. Since 1 February 2022, vaccination certificates will only be valid to enter France if you had your last dose or a booster dose within the past 9 months.

Or,

2. A negative PCR test result of a PCR test taken less than 72 hours before departure to France or a negative antigen test certificate of an antigen test taken less than 48 hours
before departure to France. We strongly recommend you to check the two official websites given above to check the COVID test requirements at the time of your trip. COVID test certificates are not required for children under 12 years old.

Or,

3. A certificate of recovery older than 11 days and less than six months.

We strongly recommend you to check the two official websites given above to check the COVID entry requirements to France from Spain at the time of your trip.

If you are an European citizen you can either enter France with one of the three above mentioned certificates or with a European Digital Covid Certificate, also referred to as European Green Digital Certificate.

Note that is it indicated on the French Government official website that while the EU Digital Covid Certificate provides a standardised recognition of travellers health status, each country is still responsible for its own entry rules, which are not standardised at European level and this means that you need to find out in advance about the entry rules in force in France or any other country you're travelling to. Therefore, this means that, as indicated above, depending of your country of origin, COVID certificates of recovery are not always accepted to enter France, even if you have a European Digital Covid Certificate of recovery. Note that the page of the French Government official website where this is explained 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.


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


Note that if you're a French resident, since the 7 July 2021, you can only claim a refund to the French Social Security for a COVID PCR or antigen test taken in Barcelona if you have to get a test for medical reasons. Until the 6 July 2021, you could claim a refund for a COVID PCR or antigen test taken in Barcelona to travel back to France. You will find more information on this page: How to get a refund from French Social Security for PCR or antigen test undertaken in Barcelona for travel back to France.


Restrictions due to COVID in Barcelona

There currently isn’t no lock-down in Barcelona or in Spain. Spain had one lock-down from March to June 2020 but didn’t put in place any other lock-down after that.

However there might be some coronavirus restrictions and requirements that you can check on the Barcelona town hall website and on our page Latest COVID updates in Barcelona.

To know where EU Digital COVID Certificates are required in Barcelona and how you can get a EU Digital COVID Certificate for an antigen test or a PCR test taken in Barcelona, we recommend you visit the following pages:

Latest COVID-related uptates in Barcelona

EU Digital COVID Certificate

We have also put together an article about visiting Barcelona during COVID-19:

How to Visit Barcelona During COVID-19


Restrictions due to COVID in France

You can check the latest COVID-related restrictions in France on the French government COVID-19 website.


Summary

Spanish borders with France are open and travellers coming from France can enter Spain to visit Barcelona for tourism purposes.

To travel from France to Barcelona by air, sea or land, you'll either need a negative COVID test certificate, a vaccination certificate or a COVID recovery certificate, or a EU digital COVID certificate of negative COVID test, a EU digital COVID certificate of vaccination or a EU digital COVID certificate or recovery.

To travel from Barcelona to France, you'll either need a negative COVID test certificate or a vaccination certificate, or a EU digital COVID Certificate indicating you had a negative COVID test or you are fully vaccinated, if you have one.

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