Tourist Information Guide

What To Do If You Have COVID Symptoms Before or During Your Stay in Barcelona

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This page will explain the following:

  • What you need to do in case you have COVID-19 symptoms before travelling
  • What might happen upon arrival at Barcelona Airport if you travel to Barcelona having COVID-19 symptoms such as fever and cough or shortness of breath. How to know definitively it’s not COVID-19
  • The procedure you need to follow if you have coronavirus symptoms while in Barcelona whether you live in Barcelona or are a tourist visiting the city
  • What you need to do in case it’s confirmed that you got COVID-19 while in Barcelona whether you live in Barcelona or are a tourist in Barcelona
  • What to do in case you need to postpone your flight back home because of COVID-19

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.

What do do if you have COVID-19 symptoms before travelling to Barcelona

If you have COVID-19 symptoms such as fever and cough just before your travel dates, make sure to follow the official procedure established in your own country by visiting your government health website.

If you get medical confirmation that you have COVID-19, you should follow the isolation procedure for COVID-19 established in your country and postpone your travel plans if there is a chance you won’t be cured for your original travel dates.

If you have coronavirus symptoms but obtained a medical confirmation that you don’t have COVID-19 you’ll be able to travel to Barcelona as planned.

If you had COVID in the past, are fully recovered but you still test positive, we recommend you check our FAQ below:
Can I fly to Barcelona with a positive PCR test?

Note that since the 23 November 2020, travellers arriving at Barcelona Airport from a list of high-risk countries will need to get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their arrival time in Barcelona. You will also need to fulfill a Public Health Form to obtain your Public Health QR code and to show it at the Health Control checkpoint upon arrival at Barcelona Airport.

We recommend you read our article below to know more about the mandatory COVID-19 PCR, TMA or RT-LAMP test results to enter Spain, the list of ‘high risk countries’, the Public Health Control Form and QR code, and the Health Control checkpoints at Barcelona Airport:

COVID-19 PCR tests to travel to Barcelona by air or sea in and health control checkpoints

The coronavirus Health Control at Barcelona Airport consists of a visual control and a temperature control to identify any COVID symptoms.

Therefore if you have a temperature above to 37.5° and you are also displaying COVID-19 symptoms, you might get tested with an antigen test at Barcelona Airport even if you have negative COVID-19 test results of less than 72 hours.

So, if you decide to travel whilst having COVID-like symptoms but you have a medical confirmation that you don’t have COVID-19 and you also have a negative COVID-19 test result certificate, you may still be requested to get an antigen test at Barcelona Airport. The antigen test procedure at the airport takes about one hour so it is important you account this additional time and take it into consideration when planning your day after landing in Barcelona.

We recommend you read our article below to know more about the Health Control checkpoints and the antigen tests at Barcelona Airport in case of COVID symptoms:

COVID-19 PCR tests to travel to Barcelona by air or sea in and health control checkpoints


Procedure to follow if you have Coronavirus symptoms while in Barcelona

If you have COVID-19 symptoms while in Barcelona, you should follow the procedure below.

Note that the procedure will differ slightly depending on:

  • if you’re a Spanish resident registered with the Spanish Social Security,
  • if you live in Barcelona, are not registered with the Spanish Social Security but have a Private Health Insurance
  • if you live in Barcelona but are not registered with the Spanish Social Security nor have a Private Health Insurance
  • and if you’re a tourist in Barcelona

The procedure to follow in case of COVID-19 symptoms while in Barcelona is the following:

1. Stay at home or at your tourist accommodation. This way, if you really have COVID-19, you won’t be spreading the virus to the people around you.

2. Make an appointment with a doctor to confirm your COVID-19 symptoms. The doctor will assess your existing symptoms and will also assess if you have other symptoms such as a loss of smell and taste, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, general weakness, diarrhea, vomiting among others.
We explain below how to make an appointment with a doctor whether you’re living in Barcelona or you’re a tourist.

Procedure to make an appointment with a doctor if you’re a Spanish resident registered with the Spanish Social Security

Call the COVID-19 hotline for Catalonia or your Primary Health Centre also known as ‘Centro de Atencion Primaria’ abbreviated as CAP in Spanish.

Catalonia COVID-19 hotline phone number:
061

The COVID-19 hotline for Catalonia is extremely busy since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic so you might have to wait for hours until your phone call is answered. If you have issues getting you call answered we recommend you call your CAP directly.

If you don’t know where your CAP is and therefore don’t know your CAP telephone number you can check your CAP address and telephone number on the dedicated page of Catalan Health Service website entering your home address.

The dedicated page of the Catalan Health service website is available in Catalan, Spanish, English and French and you can change the language at the top right corner of the page.

Once on the page, you’ll need to follow these 5 steps to get the address and phone number of your CAP:
1. Select your city on the city drop-down menu
2. Select your street type on the street type drop-down menu
3. Type your street name in the corresponding field
4. Type your street number in the corresponding field
5. Click on the search button to view your CAP name, address and telephone number

Important note: Do not go the CAP directly and always call your CAP first.

Remember that if you have COVID-19 you want to stay home to avoid spreading the virus around you.

Upon calling your CAP, you’ll probably get an appointment with a doctor who will then prescribe you a COVID-19 test if the symptoms you have are COVID-19 symptoms.

Procedure to make an appointment with a doctor if you’re living in Barcelona and are not registered with the Spanish Social Security but have a Private Health Insurance

If you live in Barcelona but are not registered with the Spanish Social Security you probably have a private health insurance. In that case, you should make an appointment with your doctor though your health insurance app for a video consultation.

If you don’t already have a general practitioner, look for a doctor that accepts video consultations.

Note that most of the private health insurances provide special COVID-19 medical services so make sure to look for the COVID-19 section on your app as you might find exactly what you’re looking for.

Your private health insurance doctor will be able to confirm your COVID-19 symptoms and tell you which steps you should follow.

If your doctor advises you to get a COVID-19 test, we recommend you click on the button below.

You should always follow your doctor’s recommendations and stay isolated at home until you get medical confirmation that you can go out of your accommodation.

Procedure to make an appointment with a doctor if you live in Barcelona but are not registered with the Spanish Social Security nor have a Private Health Insurance

If you have a valid European Health Insurance Card then you can follow the same procedure as for Spanish residents registered with the Spanish Social Security that we have explained above.

Our Insider Tip

If you’re not registered with the Spanish Social Security and only have a European Health Insurance Card, some CAPs will accept your Card, some other won’t. It might also be possible that at the same CAP a receptionist won’t accept your Card but another one will if you call back later or the day after - real life story,and please don’t tell them we told you this ;-). If your Spanish language level allows you to do so, and if you really want to receive free medical treatment at the CAP, we recommend you to be firm and insist for a doctor appointment in case they first tell you they don’t accept your European Health Card. If you prefer to save yourself the hassle or if you don't speak Spanish or Catalan, then follow the procedure we recommend for tourists in Barcelona below for arranging an online video consultation with a doctor of a private clinic in Barcelona.


Procedure to make an appointment with a doctor if you’re a tourist in Barcelona or if you live in Barcelona but are not registered with the Spanish Social Security and do not have a valid European Health Insurance Card

Or if you simply want a faster and more convenient service. In these cases, we recommend you have a COVID-19 video-consultation with a general practitioner of a private clinic of Barcelona.

COVID-19 video consultations are available in English, French and Spanish and will enable you to confirm any COVID-19 symptoms with a doctor without leaving your place.

If the doctor confirms your COVID-19 symptoms, he’ll explain you the next steps you should follow.

COVID-19 video consultations are available with appointment slots every 30 minutes on the schedule shown below and you can book one for the very same day:
Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 19:00
Saturday: 08:00 - 14:00

COVID-19 video consultations
Price: €60.00
Duration: 20 minutes

The video consultations are not only for tourists, anyone can book one, including locals or Spanish residents that want to speak to a doctor immediately instead of waiting for an appointment through the Public Health System.

Our Insider Tip

If you are a tourist you can request the clinic to provide an invoice upon booking your COVID-19 video consultation for you to present it to your social security or travel insurance and get refunded back home

If your doctor advises you to get a COVID-19 test, we recommend you click on the button below.

You should always follow your doctor’s recommendations and stay isolated at your tourist accommodation until you get medical confirmation that you can go out.

If you purchased travel insurance before your trip, you should follow the procedure indicated by your travel insurance in case of illness while being abroad.
When you buy a travel insurance policy, always make sure to check if COVID-19 is covered by your policy before you travel. If your regular travel insurance does not cover you for COVID-19 it might be worth getting another travel insurance policy that does during this time.


What to do if you have COVID-19 while in Barcelona

If it is confirmed that you have COVID-19, follow you doctor’s recommendations in terms of medical treatment, self-isolation period, medical follow-up and any other medical advice given by your doctor.

We also recommend you to follow the recommendations for home isolation of the Spanish Health Ministry.

If you’re at home or in a one or two bedroom tourist apartment, isolate yourself from other people going in another room and keeping the door of the room closed. Ventilate the room by opening the window and keep your telephone at hand in case your symptoms get worse and to communicate with your family members.

If you’re in a hotel room or in a studio apartment and can’t isolate yourself from your the people you’re with, use a mask, keep a 2 metre safety distance from other people and make sure to ventilate the room by opening a window. Ventilation by opening an external window which allows fresh air in has been shown to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 indoors.

If you share rooms with other people such as the bathroom, make sure to always wear a mask when in a shared space, wash your hands, use gloves and disinfect the bathroom after using it.

If your symptoms get worse including shortness of breath, a feeling of heaviness or chest pain follow the instructions given by your doctor and call the emergency number.

Emergency phone number:
112

Note that this is an emergency phone number that you should only call in case of emergency.

If you have a Private Health Insurance, you can also call the emergency number given on your private Health Insurance.


What to do in case you need to postpone your trip back home

If you have COVID-19 while in Barcelona you may have to postpone your trip back home until your are no longer infectious.

If you need to postpone your trip back home, check the flight change policy of your airline. Since the coronavirus pandemic, most airlines now have more flexible flight change policies. Before booking your flights, you might want to carefully check and compare the airline policies in terms of flight modification due to COVID.

You will also need to extend your hotel or your tourist accommodation stay.
If you subscribed a have travel insurance before your trip, you should check if this is included in your policy.

If your doctor advises you to get another COVID-19 test to check if you’re no longer infectious or if you need a PCR test certificate to travel back to your country you can easily get tested in a private lab in Barcelona.

You should always follow your doctor’s indications and stay home or at your tourist accommodation until you get medical confirmation that you can go out.

Do not hesitate to consult your doctor again in case of any doubt on the next steps of the isolation procedure and on the medical discharge.

You can book a second video consultation with a general practitioner of a private clinic of Barcelona if you have any other questions or want to confirm if you’re cured.


If you get COVID-19 before travelling to Barcelona, the best thing to do is to postpone your trip and come back to Barcelona when you’re better and no longer infectious. If you have coronavirus symptoms such as fever or cough before travelling to Barcelona but have got medical confirmation that it’s not COVID-19, you can travel normally, but you might need to get a free antigen test upon arrival at Barcelona Airport even if you have a negative PCR test result of less than 72 hours.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or get COVID-19 while in Barcelona there is a clear straightforward procedure to follow whether you live in Barcelona or you are visiting the city as a tourist. You will be able to consult a doctor in your own language to confirm your COVID-19 symptoms and learn all you need to know if you get COVID-19 while in Barcelona. We recommend you to consider getting a travel insurance that covers COVID-19 before you travel and if you’re an EU citizen, make sure you have a valid European Heath Insurance Card and it is actually still valid and up to date in case anything happens during your trip to Barcelona.

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