Travel in Barcelona within the context of the preventive measures to stop the spread 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:

Travel-related measures

Catalonia left Stage 3 on 18 June, with free internal mobility throughout Catalan territory.

The re-opening stage is now in course, bringing with it free mobility throughout Catalan territory as well as freedom to carry out all usual activities without any prohibitions, though subject to certain conditions:

Social distancing

Social distancing in general has been set at 1.5 metres, for indoor and outdoor spaces alike. In addition, a social distancing space equivalent to 2.5 m2 per person, except where even more serious restrictions are imposed for certain types of activity.

The time bands for all activities have been lifted.

Meetings and get-togethers between people are allowed, including people doing non-professional or non-federated sport, provided they do not involve crowds or exceed the maximum numbers permitted in each case.

It is mandatory for people to use face masks in public streets or squares, in outdoor areas or any indoor venue used by or open to the public, whenever it is not possible to keep to a minimum 1.5-metre distance from others. Any type of face mask may be used, preferably hygienic or surgical masks that cover the nose and mouth. Pay attention to the health authorities’ instructions on how they should be used.

Masks must also be worn on public transport.

Further information

Yes, for everyone aged 6 or over.

In public streets and squares, in outdoor areas and any indoor venue used by or open to the public, whenever people who are not in regular close contact with one another are unable to keep to a 1.5-metre distance from each other.

In all forms of transport carrying passengers by road, rail and cable-car and 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. Masks are not mandatory where their use would worsen the condition of people with some type of illness or breathing difficulty.

Nor will masks be mandatory for people whose disability or dependence denies them the independence to remove them or whose behavioural disorder makes their use impractical.

Nor will masks be required for outdoor physical sports activity, in force majeure circumstances or emergency situations or when, owing to the nature of the activities, wearing a mask would be incompatible with the health authorities’ instructions.

And 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 to 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 using a high-intensity bicycle.

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.

More information

No penalties have been imposed for parking violations in ground-level regulated (Green and Blue Zone) parking areas over the last few months.

However, as from 25 May, compliance with parking regulations will once again be monitored, at the same time that new environmental AREA rates come into force, as approved this January, and which take account of environmental labels when determining parking fees on public streets.

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.

Since Stage, Barcelona Metropolitan Transport (TMB) networks will be bringing in extra services. Services are currently running at 100%.

Additionally, where using the metro is unavoidable, users are advised to spread out along the train to avoid crowding given that the carriages in the middle of trains are usually less full. Furthermore, metro users are recommended to keep the stipulated safe distance of 1 to 2 metres wherever possible. The use of face masks 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.

Measures to make the metro and buses safe places.

The last two weeks have seen a significant rise in demand. Hence the various operators’ coordinated decision with the Metropolitan Transport Authority to extend their services once again:

- Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) railway service: 100% during rush hours on both the Barcelona-Vallès line and the Llobregat-Anoia line, and 80% during the rest of the day.
The L12 Sarrià - Reina Elisenda line will remain suspended.
The L7 line will continue to start at Gràcia and end at Avinguda del Tibidabo.

- Rodalies de Catalunya-Renfe [local commuter] train service: 100% service on the main lines (R1, R2 and R4).
The R3 line will resume its usual service except for one of the seven services in each direction between Barcelona and Puigcerdà.
The R7 Barcelona Sant Andreu Arenal - Cerdanyola Universitat line remains suspended.
The regional trains and R8 line will continue to operate at 50%.

- Tram: 80% service on average on the Trambesòs lines and 90% on the Trambaix. Services during rush hours will be at 100%.
The T6 line will remain suspended.

From 4 May, the use of face masks on public transport is compulsory.

Further information

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.

Further information


To ensure the scaled and safe easing of the lockdown mobility measures are starting to be applied to expand the mobility spaces intended for pedestrians, to improve the bus-network and add a further 21 km of cycle lanes. The goal is to encourage travel on foot, by bike and on public transport and restrict the increased use of private vehicles in the city.

More information.

Meetings and get-togethers between people are allowed, including people doing non-professional or non-federated sport, provided they do not involve crowds or exceed the maximum numbers permitted in each case. 

The time bands have been lifted.

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.

As for the gradual lockdown exit, 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. 

Barcelona City Council is expanding cycling lanes by 21 km distributed along some ten new sections.

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, will come into force on 15 September this year for motorcycles and cars that do not have an environmental label.

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.

Since Stage 2, bus services will be as follows:

- TMB bus: average service at 80%, rising to 85% during rush hours for mainline services

- AMB Metropolitan bus: average service at 85%, rising to 88% during rush hours.
The Nitbús [night bus] will operate at 55% of its usual service.

- Generalitat de Catalunya intercity bus: average service at 80%, with extra services on some lines. And 50% service on the night bus network.

- AMTU urban bus: ranging from 80% to 100% service, depending on the municipality. Similar levels of service will continue during the weekend.

It has been mandatory since 4 May for passengers to wear masks on public transport.

Further information

As preventive measures for halting the spread of the Covid-19 virus, bus services will continue to operate without selling tickets on board and bus drivers will refrain from communicating with passengers. As an additional measure, buses will be accessed through the back door until all the protective screens have been installed. Hand cleaning and disinfection must be increased before getting on and off public transport.

More public transport in phase 2.

Yes, it is operating but with a limited service. The NitBus service departs every 40 minutes, thus adapting to the preventive measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 established by the Catalan administrative authorities. The timetables are available at the following link:

The following safety measures, among others, have been established in this case: tickets cannot be purchased on board, and users’ right to buy a ticket or receive customer service from the driver is currently not applicable.

Face-to-face customer service offices without a physical barrier are also closed.

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 an end and in accordance with the conditions that may be imposed.

Remember that during the period of alarm to stop the spread of Covid-19 most face-to-face public transport procedures have been suspended. Therefore, if you need to travel and your ticket does not work, just buy another one, keep the old one and make a claim once this exceptional situation has come to an end.