Frequently asked questions about travel in Barcelona in light of Covid-19
In the last few days, citizens have been sending us queries in relation to the preventive travel-related measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. We have tried to answer them below:
In order to reduce the risk of new outbreaks, travel outside the home and journeys on public highways should be limited, adhering to the individual and collective protection measures.
From 9th April (to 19th April), mobility restrictions are as follows:
The prohibition on leaving Catalonia will continue to apply: entering and leaving Catalonia is restricted, except for duly justified journeys:
- Attending social and medical centres, establishments and services.
- Fulfilment of work-related, professional, business, institutional or legal obligations which cannot be carried out online.
- Attending universities, teaching and education centres, including nursery schools.
- Returning to the usual place of residence or family home, for duly justified reasons.
- Care of minors, the elderly, dependent people, people with disabilities or who are particularly vulnerable.
- Travel to financial and insurance entities for procedures which cannot be carried out online or to fuelling stations in adjacent territories.
- Travel required for the purpose of collecting and looking after children in cases where the parents are separated or divorced or do not live together.
- Necessary or urgent actions with public bodies, courts or notaries which cannot be carried out online.
- Renewal of official permits and documents, and to carry out other administrative procedures that cannot be conducted online.
- Exams or official tests that cannot be postponed.
- Exercising the right to demonstrate and to political participation.
- Travel between the county of Alt Urgell and Andorra by residents in either of these territories.
- Force majeure circumstances or a situation of need.
- Any other activities of a similar nature, duly justified.
County lockdowns during the week: restrictions on individuals entering and leaving each county remain, except for essential travel stated in advance and on the following grounds:
- Travel outside counties but within Catalonia is allowed for educational activities and socio-educational intervention activities for attending to and educating individuals with disabilities, special needs or vulnerabilities, involving excursions from educational centres, as well as educational-leisure activities permitted at every educational stage, provided they do not involve any overnight stays. Overnight stays are only authorised on excursions when the complete integrity of school bubble groups can be guaranteed.
There is no restriction on vehicle traffic (crossing municipalities) or goods transport.
The night-time curfew remains in force from 10 pm to 6 am, with travel on public roads and streets prohibited.
- Emergency healthcare assistance.
- Acquisition of urgent pharmaceutical products from the nearest pharmacy to the home, and urgent veterinary care.
- Travel to and from work, with the company’s corresponding certificate.
- Travel by professionals and accredited voluntary workers for carrying out essential, healthcare and social services.
- Travel for reasons that cannot be postponed, to look after elderly people, minors, dependent people, people with a disability or people who are especially vulnerable (including travel to meet the needs of people with behavioural disorders, disabilities or illnesses requiring outside activity for their emotional well-being or health, with the corresponding professional certificate).
- Journeys required for the purpose of collecting and looking after children in cases where the parents are separated or divorced or do not live together.
- Emergency action before the judicial bodies.
- Returning home from education facilities and permitted cultural activities, exercising the right to demonstrate and to political participation, and collecting orders from food and drink establishments in accordance with the stipulated opening hours.
- Care of pets for the time required, individually and close to the home, between 4 am and 6 am.
- Other force majeure reasons or some other justified situation of need.
- Returning home after carrying out the aforementioned permitted activities.
Please carry your self-responsibility declaration or other documentary evidence (doctor’s certificate, letter from your employer, etc.) justifying your journey so that you can show it at police checkpoints.
Use of public transport
Public transport must maintain 100% service levels, even if there is less demand. Reductions may only be made to services operating at night. The rush-hour service must be maintained between 6 am and 9 am on working days.
Face masks must be worn.
Occupation of taxis with up to 9 seats limited to a maximum of 6 people, including the driver, and the front passenger seat must remain empty. Therefore, in 5-seater vehicles, the maximum capacity is 4, including the driver. In vehicles with 7 to 9 seats, the maximum capacity is 6, including the driver.
Masks must be worn at all times in public spaces, regardless of whether the minimum social distance can be maintained or not (in accordance with health regulation SLT/1648/2020, dated 8 July).
Starting on 9 July (inclusive). At all times, even when the minimum social distance can be maintained.
Everyone aged 6 and over.
Recommended for children between 3 and 5 years old.
In any outdoor or indoor space that is public or open to the public.
This includes natural spaces such as forests, beaches, and other similar places.
- Illness or breathing difficulty that is aggravated by the use of a face mask.
- Situations where taking off your mask is obligatory.
- Behavioural disorders that make using a face mask infeasible.
- People doing outdoor physical sport.
- Defined spaces that will be exclusively used by a group of people who are habitually in contact with one another (such as private homes, classrooms, summer camps, etc.).
The use of a face mask continues to be compulsory on all forms of transport carrying passengers by road, rail and cable-car that is under the Catalan government’s jurisdiction. Masks do not need to be worn by ship and sea vessel passengers when in their cabin, on deck or outside, provided they can keep to a social distance of 1.5 metres from others. Nor will masks need to be worn by car passengers who are in regular close contact with one another.
Where wearing a mask is incompatible with sport, athletes will have to increase their social distancing from others. We remind you here that when walking you must keep a distance of 2 metres from others not accompanying you and, as regards sport, you will have to extend your distancing to 10 metres when running, roller-skating, skateboarding or cycling, and to 20 metres when doing high-intensity cycling.
From Thursday 23 April, Bicing service is operational againafterbeing closed for a few weeks at the request of the health authorities, in line with the preventive measures by the various health administrations.
Users have to follow a series of hygiene and protection measures. The service is re-opening with 57 new stations, added to the network to provide greater geographical coverage and better service.
As from 25 May, fines will once again be issued for unpaid parking in regulated parking areas. Once we enter Stage 1, compliance with parking regulations will be monitored again and, at the same time, new environmental AREA rates will come into force which take account of environmental labels when determining parking fees on public streets.
The new environmental rates include criteria established by the Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT) to assess the level of pollution of vehicles parked in Blue or Green Areas used by non-residents:
- Zero-emission vehicles will be able to park for free in Blue Areas for the maximum time stipulated. As for residents, everyone awarded a 20-cent discount for good driving before 31 December 2019 will continue to benefit from this discount throughout 2020.
- Blue Areas will also be regulated during the midday time slot between 2 pm and 4 pm. In addition, improper use of the service will result in a penalty and the complaint-cancellation fee will be reviewed, rising from 7 euros to 9 euros.
- Bus Zone AREA rates for public-street coach stops and parking are being revised. The increase will apply to A blue places and B blue places alike, and in both cases coaches with an Eco label will receive a 100% discount.
- Rates are rising for Park Güell's logistics platform (18 euros for 90 minutes) and BSM parking places at the Barcelona Nord, Moll d’Espanya and Garcia Fària Bus Stations, with different daytime and night-time rates.
Although the Barcelona Ring Roads Low Emission Zone (LEZ) has been in effect since becoming operational on 1 January, the health emergency modified the introduction of the penalty period for the LEZ, originally scheduled for 1 April.
However, as the state of emergency is on the point of ending, the AMB, the five city councils making up the Barcelona Ring Road LEZ and the Catalan Government are reactivating its implementation, in order to avoid a return to pre-Covid-19 pollution levels and to try to prevent illnesses associated with poor air quality-
Therefore, the LEZ penalty system, originally scheduled for 1 April and postponed because of Covid-19, comes into force on 15 September this year.
The financial threshold is being extended for low-income self-employed people, in order to include them in the moratorium if they have a car or motorbike. This exemption will last until April 2021, in response to the socio-economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis
The moratorium is being extended for vans, lorries and coaches that do not have an environmental label: vans have an additional 3 months, until April 2021, lorries have six more months, until July 2021, and buses and coaches have 12 more months, until 1 January 2022.
Road transport is also operating at 100% in the vast majority of cases, with specific adaptations to demand in some cases:
– The TMB bus lines are all now running at 100%.
– The AMB Metropolitan Bus service is back to normal, with a few exceptions for some lines, which have been adapted to demand in each case. The Nitbus service will continue to run at 100%, a level that was reached this past weekend, with the exception of the N10, N18, and N26 lines.
– The bus lines managed by the Directorate-General for Transportation and Mobility (Direcció General de Transports i Mobilitat) are running on average at 80%, each being adapted to their specific level of demand.
– The AMTU-operated urban bus lines will continue to provide a variable service depending on the municipality, with overall levels that fluctuate between 80% and 100%.
It has been mandatory since 4 May for passengers to wear masks on public transport.
The Metropolitan Transport Authority (ATM) will establish compensation mechanisms for tickets that could not be used during the state of alarm caused by the Covid-19 outbreak once this exceptional situation has come to.
People who have not used their tickets since 14 March will be able to automatically extend their term of validity by simply validating them from 1 July. People who did use their tickets during lockdown, on the other hand, must apply online by filling in a form and, once this has been assessed, they will be given a specific compensation ticket from 1 September if applicable.
You are advised to leave home as little as possible and to only travel with others from your household bubble.
A “household bubble” refers to the group of individuals living together under the same roof, as well as carers.
Family and social meetings and/or gatherings, whether public or private, are allowed, provided they have no more than the maximum number of six people, except if all the individuals are living together.
Even so, you are also advised to limit as much as possible the family and social meetings and gatherings you hold indoors, including your home, and restrict visits to dependent people or people in a vulnerable situation and who are always from the same household bubble.
An “extended bubble” refers to a group of people from a household bubble plus one or more other limited groups of people, always the same individuals, and who the household bubble can interact with for various reasons (family, work, school or recreational relations). That group must be as stable as possible.
Provided activities comply with the safety indications approved by PROCICAT, the prohibition does not extend to the following:
- Regulated educational activity (including university teaching)
- Worship, religious and civil ceremonies, including weddings, religious services and funerals
- Public transport
- Socio-educational activities (socio-educational services and open centres)
- Permitted extracurricular school activities
- Permitted cultural activities
- Federated sports activities, where people can train in the usual stable groups and take part in permitted competitions.
As from 26 March 2021, family and social meetings and/or gatherings held in indoor public places will be limited to a maximum of four people, unless all the individuals taking part are living together, and no meetings will be allowed in private spaces unless all the individuals taking part are living together (in line with the declaration of coordinated public-health initiatives against COVID-19 agreed to at the Full Inter-Territorial National Health System Council Meeting of 10 March 2021, regarding the Sant Josep festivities and Easter Week 2021).
The consumption of food and drinks is prohibited at gatherings or meetings in public places, except for snacks outdoors on permitted school excursions, socio-educational intervention activities and outdoor educational activities.
If you have to travel, we recommend you go on foot, by sustainable vehicle (bicycle, push-scooter, electric vehicle) or by public transport.
Public transport continues to operate in Barcelona and its metropolitan area and is adapting its supply to demand while maximising its vehicle hygiene and cleaning protocols. The important thing when you are using public transport is to try and maintain social distancing (between 1 and 2 metres’ distance) from others and to follow advice on hygiene such as washing your hands. It is compulsory for passengers to wear masks.
Barcelona City Council is taking a number of steps to promote safe and sustainable mobility in a new public space.
This is a good option.We strongly recommend that you do so by bicycle given that you will be travelling on your own and not creating any pollution.
In accordance with the preventive measures for halting the spread of Covid-19 and limiting public travel, the monthly or quarterly changes of street sides for parking vehicles, established in various parts of the city, remain suspended.
In other words, the change of street sides originally planned for 1 April, 1 May and 1 June have been cancelled. From 1 July, the change of streets side starts again.
The Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) network has increased the frequency of its public transport services. Services are currently running at 100%.
From 4 May, the use of face masks on public transport is compulsory.
TMB carries out thorough cleaning and hygiene procedures on all trains and elements on a daily basis and has suspended face-to-face sales and its customer service. Tickets can be purchased online or via the machines in the stations.
Last, the doors of some types of trains are being opened automatically. Unfortunately, not all trains have this feature, and in some cases the doors must be opened manually.
At this time, the metro, FGC trains, tram, and Rodalies de Catalunya trains are all running at 100%.
We would also like to remind you that the health authorities have established that all the seats on public vehicles can now be occupied, and this noticeably increases the capacity of the public transport network. In addition, the use of face masks on public transport continues to be mandatory.
From 4 May, the use of face masks on public transport is compulsory.
All public transport operators have increased their cleaning and disinfection protocols on all trains, carriages and vehicles as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
All face-to-face ticket-sales and customer-service points that do not have a physical barrier have also been closed. We ask you to use your telephone or the Internet for your communications and to make your purchases through vending sales machines, from apps or online.
Extra hand-hygiene and disinfection are required from passengers before entering and after exiting public transport. It is compulsory for passengers to wear masks when travelling.
Remember you have the Covid-19 telephone helpline available to you on 010 and 012 for any queries or enquiries, and the 061 Salud Respon service in case you or others feeling unwell and require health assistance.
Extra cleaning and disinfection services are continuing on the metro and TMB buses, in vehicles and areas alike, with special care in all contact areas: rails, door-opening mechanisms, ticket-validation machines, vending machine and so on.
To boost air renewal, the tunnel and station forced ventilation system on the metro network is being optimised, combined with the piston effect from passing trains. Trains and buses are being ventilated by the constant opening of doors and cooling ducts, where virucidal treatments are being applied.
As for frequent hand-hygiene measures, free hydro-alcoholic gel dispensers are being installed in the main metro stations. These can currently be found in the lobbies of the La Sagrega, Sagrada Família and Collblanc stations.
Other measures will remain in place, such as the suspension of ticket sales on buses, item exchanges and face-to-face assistance in general and the installation of physical partitions in vehicles between passengers and drivers or motorists.
TMB has begun testing ultraviolet light rays, a powerful germicide, for disinfecting trains and facilities more effectively and boosting the fight against the spread of Covid-19. A pilot test with these light rays is already being carried out on some escalator rails.