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COVID Testing in Spanish: What to Know and Who to Ask


Being sick while abroad can be stressful, especially when there is a language barrier. In case of COVID-19 symptoms, you’ll need to get tested and probably self-quarantine. However, finding information about where to go and what to do can be an uphill battle in a foreign language.

Spanish is the fourth most spoken language in the world, being the official tongue of twenty-one different lands. If you’re visiting one of those countries and are experiencing COVID symptoms, then this post is for you.

Today, we’ll share:

  • Some basic expressions for seamless COVID testing in Spanish
  • What to do if you’re experiencing symptoms abroad
  • How to find testing centers worldwide

Let’s get started.

Useful Medical Terminology in Spanish

First, it’s important to note that there are multiple countries where Spanish is the official language. Consequently, there are a great amount of local expressions and accents. Some terms may vary depending on where you’re traveling, nevertheless, locals will still understand you.

Let’s start with some basics. These are the general terms for places and medical professionals:

Certain terms are inherently intuitive, given their shared Greek/Latin roots, such as “doctor” or “clinic.” Moreover, it’s important to note the appropriate gender distinctions, with female nouns typically ending in “a” and male terms in “o.” For instance, a nurse is referred to as an “enfermera,” while a male nurse is called an “enfermero.”

COVID Testing in Spanish: Specific Terms

If COVID is what worries you, then knowing how to describe your symptoms is paramount. In our list, we’ve also included some general COVID-related terms you may find useful.

With these key vocabulary, you will be able to rudimentarily but quickly explain your symptoms to a doctor. Moreover, here are some expressions you may find useful during your test:

What to Do if You are Showing COVID-19 Symptoms Abroad

Feeling symptoms of COVID-19? You don’t need to panic. Countries all over the world are better equipped than ever to deal with a COVID-19 infection.

If you have a COVID-19 test kit on hand, use it when you experience initial symptoms. If the test results are negative but symptoms persist, it is advisable to undergo a PCR test to be safe.

Self-isolate if you test positive and consider the possibility of prolonging your stay. A good travel insurance policy will cover any costs associated with tests and medical consultations.

If you want to learn more about travel insurance and COVID, including:

  • When your insurance covers COVID-19 expenses
  • When your insurance covers extra expenses due to quarantine
  • What policies you should look out in your insurance

You can check our comprehensive guide.

Additionally, a good option is to contact your local embassy. They’ll provide you with information regarding the COVID policy in the country.

Find A COVID Center Near You

Vigilance against COVID remains at the forefront of a trip, whether it be business or pleasure. You won’t be kicked out of the country or isolated in a crowded hospital, like in the harsh days of the early pandemic. But still, COVID can cause you some trouble.

The good news is that even in a foreign language, with a few choice words (and perhaps a bit of Google Translate) you will be able to effectively communicate with any doctor or health professional. Plus, you can easily find a COVID testing center near you with our massive international index.

In our massive international index of testing centers, you can check:

  • Testing centers near you
  • Available tests
  • Pricing for each test

With Test for Travel, you can find COVID testing centers worldwide.

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