Camino de Santiago and Covid-19
The Camino de Santiago in Spain is feasible on all the Jacobean Routes. There is no longer any restriction of mobility from one autonomous community to another.The hostels and other accommodations present in the Jacobean Routes will gradually reopen from June, with a series of capacity restrictions and required sanitary measures that you can consult here.
The outdoor mask is no longer mandatory outdoors from June 26, as long as it is possible to keep a safety distance of 1.5 meters.
Hours and capacity restrictions are maintained in different establishments (restaurants, bars ...), so it is advisable to be attentive to comply with the regulations of each territory. We also remind you that it is convenient to check the status of each municipality on the Route, since perimeter closures can be decreed in municipalities and areas that register a high incidence of Covid-19 cases.
In addition, Galicia has decreed the need to present the COVID certificate, a PCR or negative antigen test to enter the interiors of the establishments of municipalities that are in high or very high incidence. You can follow the evolution of each municipality and its requirements on this map.
Reopening of borders in Europe
On July 1, the Covid Passport came into force, a digital certificate that allows citizens of the European Union to travel according to the epidemiological status of their country. Thus, people from countries classified as green - less than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days and a positivity rate of less than 4% - do not have to meet the requirements to enter Spain.
Citizens of European countries identified, according to the traffic light of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), with the colors orange, red and dark red may enter Spain with a negative PCR at origin or with the complete guideline of vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Namely, Pfizer, Janssen, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. In order for vaccinated people to enter the EU, they must have received the complete vaccination schedule (one or two doses as required by each vaccine) at least 14 days before the trip.
In addition, from June 7, all travelers from any country are allowed to enter Spain, provided they can prove that they have received the complete schedule of a vaccine. Spain has imposed an exception on travelers from the United Kingdom. From July 1, British people who want to travel to Spain must prove that they have received the complete schedule of the Covid-19 vaccine or present a negative PCR performed within 72 hours prior to the trip.
From May 24 it is also possible to travel to Spain without any restrictions from: Japan, China, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
The borders with Spain are no longer a problem for pilgrims. From May 4 it is possible to cross the border from France to Spain, both through Saint Jean Pied de Port and Oloron. It is necessary to have a negative PCR performed 72 hours before. European pilgrims who have the complete vaccine schedule, who will be able to cross the border by presenting the covid certificate.
For its part, Portugal has also opened the borders with Spain. Both on foot and by car, PCR is not necessary.
Xacobeo 2021-2022: Anti-Covid Insurance in Galicia
Galicia is already preparing for the opening of borders. To revitalize tourism and the presence of pilgrims in the middle of the Jacobean year, the Xunta de Galicia will launch a "covid insurance" from the second quarter of the year.
This insurance will be applied to those pilgrims who have the bad luck of contracting Covid-19 in Galician territory during their Camino. Those people who arrive already infected and those who come from places where, originally, travel to Galicia or Spain would not be accepted.
Galician Covid insurance will cover all medical, surgical, pharmaceutical and hospital costs. In the event that it is not necessary to go to the hospital, it will cover the unforeseen expenses that arise to those who must keep quarantine by medical prescription, both of the affected person and of their close contacts.
The maximum coverage will be 30 days and the Xunta de Galicia will allocate a total of 1.2 million for this covid insurance.
In view of the situation, from the Camino con Correos we recommend not doing the Camino de Santiago these days, given the complicated situation caused by Covid-19 and the diversity of restrictions according to territories. However, we leave you some tips in case you want to organize your Camino in future dates.
Tips for planning the Camino
From El Camino con Correos we suggest that be alert when it comes to safety measures and restrictions adopted by the different territories. For those who are planning the Camino de Santiago, here are some keys to do it safely.
1. Booking at albergues on the Camino
One of the changes derived from this ‘new normal’ after Covid-19 is the recommendation to book ahead a place at albergues or other types of accommodation to spend the night on the Camino. That will ensure that the pilgrims finds availble spots and open accommodation.
This year part of the accommodation along the Camino may not be open, and most will have a bed limit, so we suggest making sure beforehand of the places where we want to spend the night. You can find a list with over 4.000 albergues, hotels and hostels on our website, with phone numbers and e-mail addresses so you can plan ahead.
The public hostels in Galicia eliminate the prior reservation. Since Wednesday, July 7, the Xunta disabled its online reservation system for the 79 hostels in its network. The occupancy of the hostels will be as before: in order of arrival, opening at 1:00 p.m. and a price of 8 euros.
Meanwhile, the Asociación de Albergues Privados de Galicia (Agalber) has launched a page (Bookalbergue.com) where it is possible to consult all associated hostels and reserve a place.
The Red de Albergues del Camino has also updated its website with information about open albergues this summer. They also have an APP that you can download if you want to have that information on hand.
Pilgrims who choose the Camino Francés will be able to find out in real time the free places in the hostels. It will be possible thanks to the LOT Hostels initiative, promoted by the Association of Municipalities of the Camino de Santiago (AMCS) in collaboration with the Government of Navarra, Aragón, La Rioja, Castilla y León and the Galician Association of Private Hostels (Agalber).
The Asociación de Municipios del Camino de Santiago has also launched July 1st their “Albergues Seguros” (“Safe Albergues”) campaign, assisting and giving advise to the network of traditional and municipal albergues about the sanitary requirements that have arised since Covid-19. For this campaign, in which Correos has also collaborated, a series of posters has been ellaborated, that can be found throughout their network of albergues, with all the suggestions that will make the albergues a safe place.
Besides, they have also created an interactive map with the location and contact of the Network of Safe Albergues that can be found on their website: https://www.amcsantiago.com/. This map is updated weekly including all available albergues.
2. Rucksack transfer on the Camino
Correos has also put in place the backpack and suitcase transportation service from stage to stage on the Camino. Our Paq Mochila is available from Sarria to Santiago, with all safety measures. Our delivery staff has received training in Covid-19 and we give them daily IPE needed to ensure a safe delivery: FFP2 masks, hydroalcoholic gel, disinfectant for the vehicles…
We also have an online form available for pilgrims (www.paqmochila.com) so they can book their reservation and pay safely via credit card or PayPal, avoiding cash.
Pilgrims also have access to other Correos’ services on the Camino such as the Paq Bicicleta for bycicle transportation to and from the Camino, luggage storage to leave their things when in Santiago or the Paq Peregrino, to send suitcases, backpacks and packages to the over 150 post offices throughout the Camino.
3. Visits to the Cathedral of Santiago
The Cathedral of Santiago reopened its doors on December 30, 2020. With the arrival of Xacobeo 2021 and the celebration of the 120th Compostela Holy Year in its history, the Cathedral will once again wear its best clothes.
After the restoration works, the Compostela temple can be visited from 7:00am to 9.00pm.
4. Pilgrim’s mass
The pilgrim's mass returns to the Cathedral of Santiago. Every day is celebrated in four hours: 7:30 am, 09:30 am and 12:00 and 7:30 pm. We remind you that the capacity is limited to 225 people. These hours are complemented by the daily mass at 11 am in the Corticela chapel.
At 10:30 a.m. the Pilgrim's Mass is also held in English in the chapel of the Pilgrim Reception Center.
5. Obtaining the Compostela
The Pilgrim’s Reception Office, the place in Rúa Carretas where the Compostela is obtained, will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (the closing time can be advanced up to 60 minutes before depending on the influx of pilgrims). We remind you that the Pilgrim Reception Office closes on December 25, Christmas, and January 1, New Year's Day.
During that time pilgrims can visit the centre and request the Compostela after certifying finishing the Camino by showing the Credential.
The procedure for collecting the Compostela has undergone slight variations to guarantee the safety of the pilgrims and the staff of the center itself. We detail the steps to follow:
- Pre-registration. Before going to the Pilgrim's Office, a pre-registration must be made on the website www.oficinadelperegrino.com indicating all the information that is requested to certify the pilgrimage to Santiago (name, Camino made, starting point ...).
- Take a turn. Once at the Pilgrim's Office you must withdraw the ticket with your turn.
- Check the queue. Check the QR code that appears on your ticket, which will indicate the approximate time you can pick up your Compostela. This way you will know what time you have to report, which will allow you to avoid long waits as well as causing crowds at the Office.
- Pick up your Compostela. Go to the Pilgrim's Office at the indicated time and collect your Compostela
You can also find our post office at the Pilgrim’s Office where you can send your bycicles, suitcases, etc. or buy stamps, cards and souvenirs.
6. Thinking about the Xacobeo 2021 - 2022
Many of you are pilgrims who ask us about Xacobeo 2021 - 2022. After eleven years without celebrating a Holy Year, this 2021 will be a very important year for the Camino de Santiago and the Jacobean community. If you want to know more about the Xacobeo and the Holy Year, here are some curiosities.
We have a lot of months to enjoy this unique date in which, of course, we must continue to take extreme precautions and respect the hygienic-sanitary measures that are established at all times.
Looking ahead to the next Holy Year, the Cathedral of Santiago and the Xunta de Galicia have announced that the Pilgrim's Digital Credential will come into operation. The online certificate will coexist with the traditional paper Credential and will allow you to collect the necessary stamps to obtain the Compostela through QR codes. You can read more about its future operation here.
With the launch of the Digital Credential during the Xacobeo 2021, it seeks to guarantee a safer Camino de Santiago against Covid-19, avoiding the greatest number of contacts between pilgrims and hospitaleros.
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