Tourist Information Guide

COVID-19: Travel By Car From France To Barcelona, Rules and Regulations

Page Content

Latest update: 24 January 2022

Q: We would like to drive to Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain by car from France. Can we cross the border by car? Do we have to take an antigen or PCR test in France to travel to Spain and have a COVID test travel certificate or isn't it necessary?


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.

A: The borders between France and Spain are open. The COVID-19 entry regulations to enter Spain are explained below.

There may be random police controls at the French and Spanish side of the border to check you have the following travel documentation:


The documents you need to travel from France to Barcelona by car are the following:

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

Certificates needed to enter Spain differ depending on whether you enter Spain from a "Risk Country" or from a "High Risk Country" for Coronavirus.

You´ll find the list of "Risk Countries" and of "High Risk Countries" for Coronavirus on this specific page of the Spain Travel Health website of the Spanish Health Ministry under the section "RISK AND HIGH RISK COUNTRIES/AREAS". The list is reviewed and updated every 7 days so make sure to check it just before you travel to Barcelona.

Below you´ll find the list of requirements needed to enter Spain from "Risk Countries" and "High Risk Countries".

COVID requirements if you enter Spain from a "Risk Country":

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 "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 for Rapid Antigen Tests and within 72 hours of your arrival 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).
2. Or a certificate that prooves you had a full COVID-19 vaccination 14 days before entering Spain with one of the vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency. The list of vaccines valid in Europe and to enter Spain can be found on the European Medicines Agency official website of the European Union. 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 entering Spain from a "Risk Country", 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 you have a European Digital COVID 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 our page about the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

On this specific page of the Spanish Travel Health website, under the blue heading ‘RISK AND HIGH COUNTRIES / AREAS, you'll find the list in pdf format of "Risk 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.

COVID requirements if you enter Spain from a "High Risk Country":

All passengers arriving to Spain from a list of "High Risk Countries" for Coronavirus must present a negative COVID test certificate in addition of their vaccination certificate or in addition of their certificate of recovery. This means that if you enter Spain from a "High Risk Country, you´ll need to get a negative COVID test even if you´re vaccinated or if you have a certificate of immunity after recovering from COVID.

On this specific page of the Spanish Travel Health website, under the blue heading ‘RISK AND HIGH COUNTRIES / AREAS, you'll find the list in pdf format of "High Risk Countries" for which the certificates mentioned below are needed to enter Spain.

Certificates needed to enter Spain from a "High Risk Country":
1.A negative COVID test certificate for a COVID test taken within 48 hours of your arrival to Spain for Rapid Antigen Tests and within 72 hours of your arrival 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).
2. And one of the following certificates:
- a certificate that prooves you had a full COVID-19 vaccination 14 days before entering Spain with one of the vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency. The list of vaccines valid in Europe and to enter Spain can be found on the European Medicines Agency official website of the European Union. For 2 shots vaccine, the vaccination is considered as full or complete once the 2 shots have been administrated.
- 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.

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

Additional Health Control Form QR code needed for "Risk Countries" and "High Risk Countries" entering Spain by air or sea

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.

Health Control Form is not mandatory when entering Spain by land, e.g.: by car, train, bus.


The documents you need to travel back from Barcelona to France by car are the following:

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. 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. 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. 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.

Or,

2. A negative PCR or antigen test certificate
of a test taken less than 24 hours or 72 hours before departure to France depending on the viral circulation of your country of origin. 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. Depending on your country of origin, 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 if COVID certificates or recovery are accepted to enter France from your country of origin 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.

In addition to having to present one of the three above-mentioned COVID certificates, you also need to fulfill a sworn statement stating that you did not have any COVID symptoms in the last 48 hours. You can find the sworn statement at the bottom of this page of the official website of the French Ministry of Interior.


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.


If you want to know more about the COVID-19 requirements to travel between France and Barcelona and about the coronavirus situation in Barcelona, we recommend you read our articles below:

COVID-19 requirements for travel between France and Barcelona during the pandemic

Latest COVID updates in Barcelona

How to visit Barcelona during COVID-19


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

Back To The Top Of The Page