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Stuck in Spain

Has anyone gotten stuck in Spain after a positive Covid test? What happened then? Could you quarantine at your hotel or did you have to go to a special place? If your travel partner tested negative could they travel on to the US?

Posted by
2063 posts

Best to go to official sources, like https://es.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

All travelers should have a plan in case they have to extend their
stay if they test positive right before leaving Spain. Since COVID
testing is required to enter the United States, there have been many
instances where travelers who were planning to depart on scheduled
flights have tested positive and have had to remain in Spain longer
than originally planned. Spanish health authorities will instruct you
to isolate/quarantine for a period of time (7 to 10 days minimum) in a
local hotel at your own expense. The Embassy or Consulate cannot
assist you in getting back to the United States earlier than
prescribed by Spanish health authorities or provide monetary
assistance for any required extended lodging.

I can't find anything else about quarantine rules. I read on another forum about someone whose spouse tested positive in Greece (where of course rules may be different--they pay for your hotel room there), and she was allowed to leave the country after testing negative, while her husband continued quarantine (not sure I'd be able to leave my husband behind like that--but I'm not sure what her situation was).

Posted by
41 posts

I hope OP doesn't mind me jumping in here, but related to the question, does anyone know if you test positive, is there any accompanying paperwork or government notice stating you must quarantine? I am asking because I am buying trip insurance and they say they cover quarantine for COVID but I don't know if the positive test is enough (honestly I don't even know what information is included in the results) or if a personal quarantine order is required for proof. It would seem obvious that if one tests positive that quarantine is required, but you never know with insurance claims.

Posted by
107 posts

I'm sure if that's the situation you'll have 14 days to talk to your insurance company and get them to tell you what paperwork they need!

Posted by
2575 posts

That's an interesting question.

Firstly to point out that public health-related matters are decentralized in Spain and each region (='state' for that matter) manages following their own directives. While for the most part, it'll be similar from one 'state' to the other, this doesn't necessarily comply in all cases. So, if you're visiting say Andalucia and Catalonia, they might (actually they do!) have protocols with different approaches, hence different requirements.

As a resident here in Barcelona, I could tell you the protocol for positive COVID results if you live here in Catalonia. There's indeed a protocol that requires quarantine and the information of your positive test goes into the Universal Health System so the Dept. of Health knows who is infected in real-time -so to speak. The protocol can be read here: https://canalsalut.gencat.cat/ca/salut-a-z/c/coronavirus-2019-ncov/ciutadania/ --use Google Translator for English or other languages.

But for non-residents, I doubt the circuits are the same, or even similar, therefore I don't know how they monitor you visitors. In principle, the protocol affects EVERYBODY, local or not, so in theory ( mind me if I am correct, I haven't checked the protocol lately!), you should quarantine for 10 days and you'd receive regular phone calls from the Dept. of Health to ensure you're progressing correctly. Should you not, they activate the emergency response to accept you in the hospital for closer monitoring of your condition. If you take a test, the results are also centralized in the Universal Health System of the Dept. of Health of the Government of Catalonia... but from there I have no idea how your cases move forward. Last year I recall there were some hotels in the city especially for visitors that had to quarantine, but I believe this is no longer the case.

You'll also be asked the name/addresses of the people you've been in close contact with for the past 48-72h (before the results) so they can be contacted and monitored too. As visitors, if you haven't really been in close contact with anybody, I guess this wouldn't apply to you.

Note the protocol is fluid and evolves. When on the peak of the last wave, remote monitoring was not proactive ("Dept. of Health calling you") but passive ("you calling in if you felt worst"), same with hospitalisations, only grave cases were admitted. Now we've descended rapidly and the ICUs have returned to 'normal' levels -or to be more precise, they're not saturated anymore. Here in Catalonia, over 70% of the residents have received both shots, and we're starting to vaccinate especially vulnerable groups with a third shot.

In any case, if you need medical assistance due to COVID symptoms or need information on how to proceed, do call the local number 061 from A LOCAL phone -yes, when necessary, they can respond in English and in a bunch of other languages too. This is a public service number for medical emergencies. Otherwise 112, the universal pan-European Emergency number can also be of assistance, you explain your need and they'll connect you with the appropriate emergency service.

Again, check the protocol for current advice... some of the info above might have changed.