Understanding How, and Where, to Get a Covid PCR Test as a Visitor in Spain

Jetting off for a holiday in Spain will be slightly different this year than it has been in any other year. Whilst you’ll still get the sun, sea, and warm welcome that regular visitors have come to expect from their time in Spain, the coronavirus pandemic means there will also be testing requirements to make your holiday as safe and secure as possible. Depending on the re-entry requirements for your country of origin, you may need to take either a lateral flow of a PCR test before you fly home.

If you do need to take a PCR test during your time in Spain then here’s everything you need to know about where you can secure the test and how much it will cost:

Will I Need to Take a PCR Test?

Whether or not you will need to take a PCR test to ensure that you don’t have coronavirus before you fly out of Spain will depend on the rules and regulations in the country that you are flying to. If you’re flying back to the UK, for example, you are required to take either a PCR or an antigen test before you fly home: this is a legal requirement regardless of your vaccination status. You should check the requirements for your own country before you leave, to ensure that you know what you will have to do when you’re in Spain and what the timeframe is for securing the tests whilst you’re in Spain: you usually have to take PCR tests 72 hours before your flight departs, for example.

Securing a PCR Test in Spain

Most governments are advising that you book your PCR tests in Spain before you arrive, to ensure that you can get the tests when you need them. The good news is that PCR tests are readily available in a wide variety of location in Spain: you can get one from private clinics and laboratories and, if you’re staying in Madrid, dental clinics and pharmacies also offer PCR tests for your convenience.

If you haven’t prebooked your PCR test and you don’t know where to go to secure one, then the following phrase should help you: ¿Dónde me puedo hacer una prueba PCR? (Where can I get a PCR test?). The staff in your hotel should know where to direct you or, if they can’t help, visiting a local pharmacy, who will also be able to point you in the right direction. Alternatively, if you have a smart phone and internet access then google maps will be able to clearly show you where the nearest PCR testing centre is.

How Much is a PCR Test in Spain?

If you’re travelling from the UK then you are advised to book and pay for your PCR test in advance, before you fly to Spain. If, however, you need to book and pay for one when you arrive in Spain then you’ll no doubt be wondering how much it will cost. According to OCU, the Spanish consumer association, a single PCR test will cost between 100 euros and 200 euros, with the average price in the country being  €120; if you’re conscious of money and you want to get your test as cheaply as possible then it pays to shop around and potentially look online where testing packages tend to be cheaper.

What is a PCR Test?

If you haven’t already taken one, you may be wondering what a PCR test is and how to take one. You can either conduct the test independently or a medical professional will take it for you; your nose and throat will be swabbed and then placed within a sample tube. Having the swabs taken doesn’t hurt, but it does feel unpleasant to take, and may make your eyes (and nose) water. Once the samples are taken and sent away to the laboratory, you will get your results within 24 hours.

If the test result comes back negative then you are free to travel home one your pre-booked flight. If the test result comes back positive then you will not be allowed to travel and will have to quarantine for 15 days before you are able to travel again. If you develop covid-19 symptoms then you should self-isolate, avoid close contact with anyone else, and take a test as soon as possible. If you are showing covid symptoms then public health workers will offer you a PCR test at no cost.

“In all cases, Spanish emergency healthcare services are guaranteed and provided at hospitals and healthcare centres,” Spain’s Tourism Ministry confirms. 

This should provide you with the peace of mind you need to travel comfortable, and to enjoy your long-awaited holiday in Spain.

Is two weeks in the sun just not long enough? Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Whether you’re hoping to buy or rent a property in Spain, our local property experts are perfectly placed to help you find the home of your dreams. Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you.



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