Tourist Information Guide

French people in Barcelona: How to get a refund from French Social Security for PCR or antigen test undertaken in Barcelona for travel back to France

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Latest update: 20 July 2022

Question: I need to get an antigen test or a PCR test in Barcelona to travel back to France. Can I get a refund in France for the coronavirus test?

Answer: If you are a French resident registered with the French Health Insurance or if you currently live in Barcelona but are still registered with the French Health Insurance, your PCR test or your antigen test taken in Barcelona to go back to France was covered by the French Health Insurance until the 06 July 2021.

From the 07 July 2021, the French Health Insurance covers PCR test or antigen test expenses abroad and in Barcelona if you have to get a PCR or an antigen test for medical reasons only, ie: you have COVID symptoms while in Barcelona and need to get a COVID test to see if it's COVID. This means that COVID tests are no longer covered if you need to get a test certificate to be able to travel.

According to French Health Insurance, PCR tests and antigen tests performed for medical reasons are refundable up to a maximum amount of €35.00.

As the price of PCR tests in Barcelona is higher than €35.00, you will be reimbursed up to a maximum of €35.00. The French Health Insurance refund does not therefore cover the full price of a PCR test done in Barcelona but does cover a good part of it. However, you can find antigen tests in Barcelona below €35.00, which means that in this case, you'll be able to get a 100% refund.

Once in France you will have to send the following documents to your French Social Security branch (known as CPAM for ‘Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie’) to obtain your refund which include the following documents:

1. A completed administrative form S31125 entitled 'Soins Reçus à l'Etranger' (which means ‘Care Received Abroad’).

2. A doctor's prescription for a COVID test or a medical certificate

3. An official VAT invoice for the PCR test or antigen you took in Barcelona

4. A document justifying your stay in Barcelona such as your flight or train tickets for example. This last requirement is specified on the second page of form S31125'.

You can double check all this information on the Health Insurance forum and on this specific page of the Health Insurance website.

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

How can you make sure you’ll receive an official VAT invoice for your PCR test in Barcelona?

The medical centres and laboratories for COVID tests listed on the pages below can provide an official invoice for your COVID test, automatically or upon request:

How and where to get a PCR test in Barcelona

How and where to get an antigen test in Barcelona

If you book your PCR test or your antigen test via a clinic or laboratory in Barcelona other than the one we recommend on this page, please ensure that you will receive an official VAT invoice (not a receipt) which will be accepted by the French Health Insurance before you book your PCR test. Please note that a normal receipt for payment of the Coronavirus test is not enough. You will need to ensure to get an official VAT invoice in order to claim it back from the French Social Security. Bear in mind that if the VAT invoice is not automatically sent by the laboratory to your email, you will need to contact the laboratory by phone or email to request your VAT invoice.

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