Traveling to Madrid and Barcelona during the COVID Pandemic

Traveling to Madrid and Barcelona during the COVID Pandemic

From United States on

Auston had just flown to Madrid from a visit to the US and we took an overnight trip to Barcelona. We wanted to do a tour of all the top sights of the city. We visited Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, and Playa de La Barceloneta among others.

How did you enter the country?
Air
Any difficulties with your vaccination card when entering the destination?
Auston didn’t have any problems entering Spain from the US. Travelers from the US are required to show proof of vaccination and they must ​​fill out a Health Control Form: https://www.spth.gob.es/. Negative COVID tests are not required. We also didn’t have any problems arriving in Barcelona from Madrid. Though we have the EU Digital COVID Certificate from our vaccinations in Spain, we weren’t required to show it when entering the city by train.
Did the local government ask for travel or health insurance when you arrived?
No.
Were you selected for a random health check? If so, what was involved and how did it go?
No.
If needed, were COVID tests easy to find and book at your destination?
Yes, COVID tests are very easy to reserve in Spain. Rapid and PCR tests can be booked online.
Did you have any difficulties with testing or receiving your results on time?
We didn’t need any testing to visit Barcelona, but COVID testing done there is very efficient and reliable.
Was this destination abnormally crowded or empty?
When we visited Barcelona in October 2021, it was very clear that people were starting to travel again. Given that it was shoulder season, there seemed to be a normal amount of people. It wasn’t as crowded as it gets in the high season, nor as empty as it was in the middle of the pandemic.
Did you have to show proof of vaccination on location? For example, when entering restaurants, shops, events, etc.?
Proof vaccination requirements vary region to region in Spain. Proof of vaccination to enter public establishments was not necessary during our trip to Barcelona in October. However, this has changed since then. Catalonia (the region where Barcelona is located) now requires proof of vaccination for entrance into restaurants, bars, and gyms as of December 3rd and will be required by anyone 13 years and older. However, Madrid does not require such proof for entrance into any venue.
Were you required to wear a mask inside restaurants, event spaces, or public transportation? If you were able to choose, did you feel comfortable wearing or not wearing a mask?
Yes, in Spain anyone 6 years old and over must wear a mask in indoor spaces except when eating or drinking.
Did the destination adapt physical distancing in day-to-day situations?
Physical distancing of 1.5 meters is recommended, though it was not enforced nor possible in many of the touristic areas like La Boqueria Market or Casa Milá, for example.
Did restaurants, businesses, and public services take COVID-related sanitary precautions that you noticed?
They had just gotten rid of restaurant capacity restrictions in Barcelona which were 50% before.
Were there additional requirements to travel within the region?
No, there aren’t additional requirements to travel within Spain, but now visitors are required to be fully vaccinated in order to enter restaurants, bars and gyms in certain regions.
Were most attractions open? Were you able to visit the ones you wanted to attend?
We planned our Barcelona trip around seeing the most popular attractions and luckily everything was open and we didn’t have any problems visiting them.
Anything you found to be noteworthy about your trip related to traveling with additional restrictions and policies?
Travelers arriving from the US to Spain by plane will not only have to show proof of vaccination, but they are also required to fill out a Health Control Form (FCS). This can be obtained from the Spain Travel Health website or app and it generates a QR code to show upon arrival: https://www.spth.gob.es/.
Anything else you think fellow travelers should know?
As of December 24th, 2021, face masks are mandatory outdoors in Spain and Catalonia has a curfew from 1am-6am.
View Current Restrictions