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‘Exciting’ hugs with family and friends return to Barcelona airport

Loosened pandemic restrictions allow for non-passengers to enter the facility for the first time in more than a year


15 October 2021 03:05 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Family and friends of passengers are now able to enter Barcelona airport to greet their loved ones, as they could in pre-pandemic times. 

Friday morning saw many emotional reunions between family members and friends of people arriving into the facility, which many people described as "exciting," "excellent," and "special." 

There were colourful handmade signs, nerves and anticipation, and telephones recording emphatic hugs between many people who had spent time apart as a result of the pandemic. 

“It’s great to be able to hug the person you know is waiting for you when you land,” one passenger told the Catalan News Agency after meeting her brother.

Ever since July 2020, there had been checks at the doors of the airport stopping anybody from entering unless they were a passenger or staff member. 

Those who were there to catch a flight could arrive within six hours before their departure time, and their companions had to say their goodbyes outside the facility. 

However, the pre-pandemic scenes of familial reunions and delight returned to Barcelona airport, as friends and family are once more allowed to enter the building as of Friday, October 15.

Now, the only difference between the new regulations and those from before the health crisis is the fact that face masks have to be worn and distances must be kept. 

"It is very important to see everyone waiting to hug their relatives at the door. Something so simple that could not be done before," said Hector, who had just enjoyed a hug with his brother Leonardo after landing from Sao Paulo. 

In many cases, the airport was the scene of reunion between relatives who hadn’t seen each other for many years

“We have travelled for over 15 hours but it’s been a worthwhile effort to be able to hug my daughter,” explained Edith, who comes from Venezuela.

Nearby, Iker and his two sisters waited "impatiently" as they held on to a bunch of colourful balloons and a bouquet of flowers.  They were reunited with their mother, also from Venezuela, whom they had not seen for five years. 

At the airport, they showed their mother her new granddaughter, born just a few days ago. "I did not know that until now there were restrictions and I had always imagined meeting her again in this space. The lifting of restrictions today must be fate," Iker said.


  • A family hugs after their reunion in the airport after restrictions were lifted to allow friends and family to enter the facility (by Gemma Sánchez)

  • A family hugs after their reunion in the airport after restrictions were lifted to allow friends and family to enter the facility (by Gemma Sánchez)