The tourists are back in Barcelona. At first very timid, they slowly become more and more daring and by now you can hear their voices swell in many languages on the Rambla.
A general uncertainty remains, Covid-19 has changed the way we travel.
This article should help you to get an idea about the current situation in the Catalan capital and whether it is safe to travel to Barcelona.
Barcelona, a safe destination
This post will fortunately be the shortest one I write on the subject of Covid-19, as almost all restrictions have been lifted by now.
As in the rest of Europe, there are still cases of covid in Barcelona, but they are much more harmless than a few months ago and can be treated better, because the hospitals are no longer overwhelmed. Since 28.3. the viral disease was even downgraded from an epidemic to a normal respiratory infection.
82% of the Catalan population has already been vaccinated and a large portion boosted.
The only anti-covid measure still in force is the compulsory use of masks. Generally there is in closed, public areas in whole Spain for persons over 6 years mask obligation and it should be a minimum distance of 1.5 meters to be respected. You don't have to wear the masks outside, if you can guarantee the minimum distance.
So on the ground, in Barcelona, almost everything is as before. But travelers still have to expect a few inconveniences.
Entering Barcelona with QR-Quode and with negative antigen rapid test
80% of tourists arrive in Barcelona by plane. In order to prevent further spread of the pandemic, airports are being specially controlled and a number of security measures are being implemented.
Who has symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.).) that indicate corona or has tested positive in the last 14 days will not be allowed to travel.
Sporadic temperature measurements will be taken, and if the temperature is elevated, more extensive examinations will be carried out.
Apart from the usual documents like passport or identity card, for the entry to Spain one needs the so-called QR-Quode, the proof that one has filled out the form of the SpTH for the health control.
The link for the form can be requested via the Spain Travel Health website (or directly via the app). The QR code must be shown at the airport on the cell phone or in paper form. be scanned in. Caution, if the form was filled out more than 48 hours before departure, the trip can be denied, according to experience reports even if only minutes were exceeded! In other cases, the QR-quode is not checked at all.
The following data is needed when filling out the form FCS (Formulario de Control Sanitario) of the SpTH:
- Flight details: Airline, flight and seat number, flight date
- Personal information: Name, ID number, contact details
- Home address and address at vacation destination
The following questions must be answered:
If you have been in contact with persons diagnosed with Covid within the last 14 days? Which countries have you traveled to in the last 14 days and for what reason??
You must also indicate whether you have been vaccinated, have recovered from Covid or have had a test, in the latter case you must indicate the type of test and the result. If you are the proud owner of the EU Digital COVID Certificate, you can also select it here.
Last but not least, you undertake to fill in all the information truthfully.
All travelers over 6 years of age from countries at risk, including Germany, must also carry a negative PCR or TMA test no older than 72 hours, or a rapid antigen test no older than 48 hours.
Those who have been fully vaccinated against Covid and boostered, and who have been vaccinated more than 14 days ago, do not need to take the test. Likewise, travelers who can prove that their recovery from Covid was not more than 180 days ago.
Those who have symptoms related to Covid should visit one of the health centers (CAP – Centro de Atencion Primaria) or dial 061, a type of medical consultation center (you can choose from 90 languages and dialects). The emergency number in Spain is 112.
All information is without guarantee and is subject to constant changes.
Entry to Germany with quick test
All travelers 12 years and older to Germany must carry a negative result of a PCR, TMA or antigen rapid test, which must not be older than 48 hours. So the German Barcelona tourist will most likely have to take two tests, one for entry in Barcelona and the other for entry in Germany.
Alternatively, proof of full vaccination or full recovery from Covid-19 can be shown.
Spain is no longer considered a risk area, the entry registration and quarantine are therefore no longer required.
All information without guarantee, since the regulations change constantly.
How to get the antigen rapid test in Barcelona for entry to Germany
A Covid antigen test can be purchased and the voucher redeemed at one of the health centers via the following website. Depending on the center, an appointment (cita previa) must be made in advance, usually the test, which involves a nasal swab, is quick and uncomplicated and the test result can be viewed online shortly or taken away right away. In centers where you don't need an appointment, it's best to go first thing in the morning to avoid waiting times.
Obligation to wear masks
The only measure, and for many also the most annoying, remains: the mask obligation. However, only in closed, public areas. Outdoors, you will be spared from the masks if you can keep the minimum distance of 1,5 meters.
In the supermarket, in the metro and inside the sights the masks must still be worn.
In restaurants, the mask should really only be taken off when you are shoving food into your mouth or sipping your sangria. Fortunately, hardly anyone complies and in most restaurants the masks are removed as soon as you sit at the table. The only ones who always have to wear the mask are the poor waiters.
Only children under 6 years of age and persons with verifiable health problems are exempt from the mask requirement. The mask may also be taken off during sporting activities and during activities whose performance would be hindered by the mask, such as eating, drinking and . smoking.
Places of interest
All sights in Barcelona are open again without restrictions and with 100% capacity. Masks are still mandatory and you can find disinfectant dispensers at the entrances.
restaurants, bars and discos
Restaurants, bars and discos are open again without restrictions and everyone can enter them without a Covid certificate (which had to be shown for a few weeks around Christmas).
Masks are still compulsory in indoor areas and those who do not consume should always have them on (in theory). On the terraces there is no mask obligation at the tables, if one stands up, this should be put on.
Is a 2022 vacation in Barcelona worth it?
Finally I can answer this question again with an unqualified YES! answer.
All sights, museums and cultural institutions, as well as restaurants, bars, clubs and discotheques are open again (almost) without restrictions. Outdoors you don't have to wear the annoying masks anymore, which means you can sunbathe topless on the beach again and travel back to Germany with a uniform complexion.