Tourist Information Guide

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

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Latest update: 1 April, 2021

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 a PCR test in France to travel to Spain and have a PCR 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 the following:

- From / to outside of Spain:

Spanish borders are open without travel restrictions for a list of select countries that you can find on the Spain page of the Reopen Europe official website of the European Union.

However as the Catalan government states on its official page about COVID-19 restrictions throughout Catalonia that entry to Catalonia (Barcelona is located in Catalonia) is only permitted for essential travel, it might be unclear whether this Catalan restriction applies only for travel within Spain or also to international travel to and from Barcelona.

You should know that only the Spanish government has authority on closing or opening its European borders. Therefore the Catalan government can’t deny the entry to the Catalan region or the exit of the Catalan region to travellers coming from outside Spain. Travellers from the above-mentioned list of select countries can enter Spain as Spain borders are open and therefore can enter Catalonia and Barcelona.

The mobility restriction to enter or exit Catalonia only apply to travel within Spain. Ie: You cannot enter Catalonia if you come from Madrid region or any other Spanish region.

As the coronavirus situation changes quickly, some restrictions may apply to specific countries so we recommend that you check the latest updates referring to Spain on the Spain page of the Reopen Europe official website of the European Union.

- From / to other Spanish regions:

The Catalan government has established that until further notice no one can enter or exit Catalonia except for the following exceptions:
• Go to health and social centres
• Go to work or carry out business, institutional or legal obligations
• Go to school and university
• Go back to your home
• Assist elderly, dependent and vulnerable people
• Go to financial or insurance institutions
• Perform urgent actions before public, judicial or notarized organisations
• Renew permits and official documents and non-deferrable administrative procedures
• Take non-deferrable exams or tests
• Force majeure or situation of real need
• Any other activity of similar nature than the above exceptions that can be justified

Mobility restrictions in Catalonia and from / to other Spanish regions may change frequently. We recommend you check our COVID updates page for the latest time sensitive information. 
Latest COVID-Related Updates In Barcelona

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


Our Insider Tip

How To Get Your COVID-19 Tests
in Barcelona in English

All your questions answered:

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Which clinics to visit?
Free or private tests?
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The documents you need to travel from France to Barcelona by car are the following:

1. If you're driving through France during curfew hours in France you will need to fulfil your exemption certificate during curfew hours in France

Curfew hours in France:
19:00 - 06:00

Note: the exemption certificate is only available in french. We recommend you use Google Translate to understand the document if you can't speak french.

2. Since 30 March 2021, if you cross the Spanish border driving from France, you will need a negative PCR test travel certificate made within 72 hours before arrival to Spain, ie: before crossing the border.
Until 29 March, you only had to get a PCR test for arrivals to Spain from France by air and sea. Since 30 March, the COVID test requirement is also applicable for arrivals to Spain from France by land.
TMA (Transcription-Mediated Amplification) tests and RT-LAMP (Reverse Transcriptase Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification) tests are also accepted to enter Spain from France.
COVID test certificates to enter Spain from France are required from the age of 6.

3. If you are a resident in Spain, we recommend you prepare your self-responsible statement to enter Catalonia that you need to fill out online on the website of the Government of Catalonia. Note that the self-responsible statement page is only available in Catalan, Spanish and English. You can change the language of the page by clicking on the "ca", "es" or "en" icons at the top right hand side of the page.

We also recommend you to have evidence of the reason why you’re entering Catalonia, such as an appointment confirmation in case of a control.

4. Your valid ID card or passport.

Health Control forms are only needed when you travel from France to Barcelona by air or sea.

However requirements for entry to Spain can change on a day-to-day basis and we strongly advise you to check the Spanish Health COVID-19 advisory website for the latest requirements.


If you have COVID-19 symptoms while in Barcelona you can book an online medical consultation with a doctor in your own language for a Coronavirus diagnosis.


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

1. Since 31 January, you need a negative PCR test travel certificate made 72 hours before arrival to France. This is valid for arrivals to France by air, sea or land.

2. If you are a resident in Spain, your self-responsible statement to exit Catalonia that you need to fill out online on the website of the Government of Catalonia. Note that the self-responsible statement page is only available in Catalan, Spanish and English. You can change the language of the page by clicking on the "ca", "es" or "en" icons at the top right hand side of the page.

3. Your valid ID card or passport.

4. Your exemption certificate during curfew hours in France only if your driving through France during curfew hours.

Curfew hours in France:
19:00 - 06:00

Note: the exemption certificate is only available in french. We recommend you use Google Translate to understand the document if you can't speak french.


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

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