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 your COVID test taken in Barcelona to get back home is positive
  • 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 to 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?

Health control checks upon arrival to Barcelona Airport

We recommend you read our article below to know more about the mandatory COVID-19 certificates, the Public Health Control Form and QR code, and the Health Control checkpoints at Barcelona Airport:

COVID-19 certificates 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.

So, if you decide to travel whilst having COVID-like symptoms but you have a medical confirmation that you don’t have COVID-19, 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.


Procedure to follow if you have Coronavirus symptoms while in Barcelona

If you´re a tourist in Barcelona and need to take a COVID test to fly back home, we recommend you get tested at a test centre that will assist you should you test positive, especially if you have COVID symptoms.

We have identified a specialist COVID-19 testing centre in Barcelona near the Sagrada Familia that will assist you and look after you if you test positive.

You can also get tested at this test centre to confirm if you have COVID even if you do not need to take a COVID test to fly back home.

The assistance provided by the test centre to foreign travellers whose COVID test result is positive is free of charge if you got tested with them and includes the following:

  • Recommendations on additional testing that might be needed before you can travel.
  • Explanations on the isolation period needed before you can travel.
  • Information on how and when you´ll be able to fly.
  • They provide you with the contact details of the English and Spanish speaking doctor of the testing centre should you need medical advice. You will be able to contact the doctor by phone, messaging apps or email for any COVID symptoms or health related questions.
  • Recommendations on how and where to extend your stay if you don´t have the financial resources to do so.
  • Answering any questions you might have.

If, however, you decide to get your COVID test elsewhere, then there is no assurance that you will be supported by your test centre if you test positive for COVID. Your test centre might actually inform you of the procedure that locals have to follow (e.g. contacting your primary health care medical centre to get your sick leave), which will just add up to your confusion.
General testing centres usually only provide the testing service, they do not understand the specific needs of tourists or travellers if they test positive and do not provide the support you need. This could leave you isolated and wondering what you need to do.


US citizens who test positive in Barcelona will need a Document of Recovery to fly back to the United States

If you´re a US citizen, we recommended you get tested at the test centre near Sagrada Familia that we´ve listed on this page and that you read the following:


Since 28 March 2022, the Catalan health authorities recommend the following measures for people who have COVID with our without COVID symtoms:

• If you can, stay at your tourist accommodation until you no longer have symptoms.
• Increase personal protective measures by wearing a face mask continuously, minimizing social interactions, avoiding crowded events and contact with vulnerable people.

Official websites of the Catalan Health authorities where you can double check this information:

"I have the COVID-19" page of the Catalan health authorities

Update on the procedure for action in regards to COVID-19 of the Catalan health authorities

Note that this last page is only available in Spanish and Catalan. If you do not speak any of these languages, we recommend you to use an automated online translator such as Google Translate.


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 and you got tested at the test centre near Sagrada Familia, follow their doctor’s recommendations, self-isolation period, medical follow-ups and any other medical advice given by the test centre.

If you did not get tested at the COVID test centre near Sagrada Familia, tested positive and need assistance, you can complete and submit the contact form at the bottom of this page. We will forward your request to the test centre and they will get in touch with you.


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 your COVID test taken in Barcelona to get back home is positive

Depending on the COVID-19 entry requirements of your destination country, you may need to get a COVID test in Barcelona before your flight. When getting your test results, you might have the unpleasant surprise of finding out you have COVID. In this were the case, you will need to postpone your flight and extend your stay in Barcelona. You will also most likely ask yourself what is the procedure you should follow in terms of isolation, where you can isolate, what is the duration of the isolation, when and how you´ll be able to fly back home, what should you do in case you start not feeling well, etc. To avoid adding any additional stress to the situation, we recommend you get your pre-departure COVID-19 test at a test centre that will be able to assist you with the procedure to follow if your test result was positive and with any questions you might have. We have identified a test centre in Barcelona that is used to test foreigners who need a negative COVID test certificate to fly back to their home countries and to assist them should they test positive.

The assistance provided by the test centre to foreign travellers whose COVID test result is positive is complimentary and includes the following:

  • Recommendations on additional testing if needed
  • Explanations on the isolation period needed before you can travel
  • Information on how and when you´ll be able to fly
  • Providing you with the contact details of the English-speaking doctor of the testing centre should you need medical advice. You will be able to contact the doctor by phone, messaging apps or email for any COVID symptoms or health related questions.

For more details on this test centre that is located in the Sagrada Familia area of Barcelona, click on the links below:


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.


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 an antigen test upon arrival at Barcelona Airport.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or get COVID-19 while in Barcelona we recommend you get tested at the test centre listed on this page as they will assist you with anything you need should you test positive. 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.


Complete and submit the form below if you want to get a COVID-19 Document of Recovery for USA citizens. Ensure to give as much detail about your circumstances as possible.

Important note: For security purposes the information you provide in the form below is securely encrypted and then sent directly to the authorized COVID testing centre. We do not have access to any of your personal information. The testing centre will contact you directly usually within 15 minutes of your submission during their normal working hours.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

1) If you need a Document of Recovery for the USA for several people, eg. for yourself and a family member or a friend, please fill out one form per person.

2) Form fields must be completed in order, from top to bottom. Otherwise, you won't be able to fill in some of the fields and complete your form submission.

3) Please make sure that JavaScript is enabled in your web browser. This form will not work properly if JavaScript is disabled.




COVID symptoms include: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath of difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea.


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