The Camino de Santiago “reopens” on July 1st

Camino de Santiago and Covid-19

The Camino de Santiago “reopens” on July 1st


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All the information in this article refers to the year 2020.

To consult the situation on the Camino in 2021, please consult the post Camino de Santiago and Covid-19.

The Camino de Santiago “reopens” on July 1st. After three and a half months empty, the Jacobean Routes will once again be filled with pilgrims who will direct their steps to Compostela.

The 1st of July is the date set by the Cathedral of Santiago, the Pilgrim's Office and a good part of the public hostels to open their doors, favoring the restart of the Jacobean pilgrimage.

The decision was made yesterday at the meeting of the organizing committee of Xacobeo 2021, in which the Xunta de Galicia, the Santiago City Council and the Archbishopric participate. After the serious health crisis that arose as a result of Covid-19, the commission considers that the conditions are met to guarantee the safety of pilgrims and those who offer services related to the Camino de Santiago.

This ends the uncertainty about the possible return to the Jacobean Routes, which, however, must be carried out with the necessary sanitary security measures.

"We all want pilgrims to return to the Camino de Santiago soon, but the absolute priority is to guarantee safety for those who travel the route, and for the professionals or volunteers who are present on a daily basis," said the Minister of Culture after the commission meeting.

Reopening of public and private hostels

The network of public hostels that depend on the Xunta de Galicia will open gradually from July 1st. The number of establishments and their capacity will be determined by the total supply of places that exist in each municipality of the Camino.

The objective is to guarantee a safe reception for pilgrims, offering a sufficient number of places between public hostels and private accommodation that are also beginning to reopen. Xunta has confirmed that this year public hostels will have a reservation through an app that will be available as soon as possible.

Outside Galicia, communities and municipalities also work to be ready for the month of July. The Association of Municipalities of the Camino de Santiago is working intensively to guarantee a sufficient number of places in municipal and reception hostels. The goal is none other than to guarantee safe reception as soon as the pilgrims return to the Camino.

Private hostels follow the same path. According to Enrique Valentín, president of the Red de Albergues del Camino de Santiago, 70% of the private hostels on the Camino Francés will open their doors in July. And about 90% will do so already in August.

“The establishments are already taking the necessary security measures to guarantee the safety of pilgrims and hospitaliers. Some shelters are adapting, reducing capacity, training hospital workers to prevent Covid-19 infections and taking all the necessary hygienic measures, "explains Enrique Valentín.

After this first adaptation phase, the hostels will begin to open their doors. Only those shelters that are more delayed in the evolution of the pandemic, such as Castilla y León, will suffer some delay. "But from day 1, the Camino de Santiago will be open," confirms the president of the Red de Albergues.

Take extreme measures to guarantee a “Safe Camino”

The Camino de Santiago will be safer than ever. This is the objective of all the agents involved in the recovery of the Jacobean Routes.

For this reason, the Camino de Santiago will have a preventive manual, a kind of comprehensive protocol that will include all the measures and recommendations that must be carried out in the different services and infrastructures that the pilgrim encounters on the Jacobean Routes.

The manual is prepared in coordination with the Institute for Spanish Tourist Quality (ICTE) and will be validated by the health authorities.

A very important part of this protocol are the measures that the hostels must take into account to guarantee the safety of hospital workers and pilgrims. In fact, the Xunta de Galicia and other autonomous communities are already offering online training courses on hygiene and health security aimed at hostel workers.

Ensuring the safety distance (2 meters), doing a correct and continuous hand washing and establishing a correct ventilation and disinfection are other main measures that you can read in more detail in this article.

The security measures will also affect the reception, in which contact between the hospitalero and the pilgrim will be avoided. Electronic registration should be prioritized (the hospital operator will not manipulate the DNI or passport), as well as online booking and card payment. When sealing the Credential you will also have to be very scrupulous, performing a correct disinfection of the seal.

The capacity must be reduced, the separation between beds and bunk beds will have to be 2 meters and the pilgrim himself will make his bed with individual lingerie. Common use areas, key on the Camino de Santiago, will also have restrictions and, in some cases, such as community kitchens, could be closed.

In order to correctly guide the hostels in the adoption of these measures, a network of “safe hostels” has been set up by the Association of Municipalities of the Camino de Santiago. The AMCS will provide a list of the participating establishments that will also receive technical advice to adapt and comply with the requirements that have been included in a specific manual.

Visits to the Cathedral and collection of the Compostela

The Cathedral of Santiago will also reopen its doors on July 1st, as well as the Pilgrim's Office.

People who decide to take the Camino de Santiago will be able to arrive in Santiago from July 1st and collect their Compostela at the Pilgrim's Office, located on Rúa Carretas, following a whole series of security measures.

The visit to the Cathedral may also take place from July 1st, although the daily Pilgrim's Mass will continue to be celebrated in the Church of San Francisco due to the maintenance works on the basilica, which are still ongoing.

Postal Services for the Camino de Santiago

Correos, following the indications given by the Spanish Government, has launched a plan to de-escalate and gradually return to normal activity after the suspension of services caused by Covid-19. This recovery of activity is done by maximizing security measures to protect workers and customers.

Correos services for the Camino de Santiago are available again. The hiring of the Paq Bicicleta, the Paq Peregrino or sending packages can be done at any Post Office.

The hiring of the backpack transport service on the Camino de Santiago is also available. We remind you that the Paq Mochila can be booked through our website and make payment by credit card or Paypal. In this way, you can better plan your route and avoid handling money and unnecessary contacts, as recommended by the Administrations.

Those who have made the reservation for nearby dates and have to suspend the Camino, do not worry. You can cancel the service free of charge up to 24 hours before its starting date. To do this you just have to send us an email at with the name and the reservation code and we will make the refund.

When will you be able to travel?

July is also the month marked in red to regain mobility and be able to travel.

Within Spain, free movement between territories will be possible as soon as the four phases of de-escalation are over. From there, it will enter a period of "new normality" in which it will be possible to move from one province to another and from one community to another, although with the established security measures: safety distance, mandatory use of a mask, washing of hands...

Regarding international travel and connections, the President of the Government of Spain announced the opening of borders for foreigners starting in July.

However, given the improvement in the data and the evolution of the pandemic, the borders with the Schengen countries will open on June 21. There will be an exception: Portugal, our borders will reopen on July 1, as established.

On July 1, the borders with countries outside the EU are scheduled to be opened, always selectively, depending on their epidemiological situation.

On July 1, the borders with countries outside the EU are scheduled to be opened, always selectively, depending on their epidemiological situation. The EU agreed this Monday, June 29, to authorize the entry of 15 among which are Algeria, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Georgia, Morocco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay .

On the contrary, the European Union maintains the veto over 150 countries, including the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Russia and India. EU countries, including Spain, may maintain the veto to some of them if they consider their epidemiological situation unreliable.

Stefan Szrajer
Hello, I am hoping to walk solo from Burgos to Leon in mid April 2022. Do you have any guesses as to the COVID situation in Spain this April? Thanks

El camino con correos
I am so sorry, Stefan but it is impossible to make predictions. Let's hope that the covid stops and the conditions are the most favorable. Buen Camino!

I am so concerned/ confused, I am a fully vaccinated uk citizen, is the Camino and hostels open, do I have to pre book a bed each day? Can I travel freely from France arriving in Biaritz to Spain, do I have to isolate upon entering France? First time for me and feeling some despair now?! Planning to start 23 rd August 2021

El camino con correos
Hi Emily. From July 1, British people who want to travel to Spain or France 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. Most of the hostels on the French Way are open. You don't need to book if you don't want to, but you should check in advance if they are open and how many places they have in order to plan your stops. You have more information in this other post:

Hi, I plan on walking the Camino Frances beginning Septembet 1st. From US to Paris to Biarritz and then to St Jean Pied. Is it safe to assume I will be able travel this way without problems? Thank you

El camino con correos
Hello Sam. No one can guarantee that this will be the case. Right now, if you stick to the full vaccine schedule, you could. But everything will depend on how the virus evolves and the measures that each government takes. Buen Camino!

Linda Bennett
Coming from the USA, Boston airport if I wanted to walk part of the French Camino September 2021, what airports are open for me to fly into. Any thing you can offer is appreciated

El camino con correos
Hi Linda! All Spanish airports are open. The only thing you have to consider is if there are flights to Boston. Probably, the best option is fly to Madrid or Barcelona in Spain or Porto (Portugal). From there you have to move. Buen Camino!

John Pearce
Will i be forced to stay in albergue’s I like to sleep under the stars, its most likely safest.

K D Wessels
Will the Camino Portuguese be open July 1?

El camino con correos
Hi! We do not know. This article is from 2020. We try to give all the updated information in this link: Hopefully soon you can return to the Camino.

Will the Hostels be insisting on confirmation of Vaccination from Pilgrims?

El camino con correos
We do not know, Tony. At the moment we are at the beginning of vaccination. It is being administered only to vulnerable groups. When vaccination is extended to all, we will see what sanitary measures are required. Buen Camino!

I wish to come from New Zealand. The possible flight is from New Zealand with a transit at Singapore to Frankfurt and then I come from Germany to France to do the Camino de Santiago, the French way. Will the transit place (Singapore) be all right ? Please let me know. I wish to do this by 10th September. Thanks for any information. Patrick

Well, it looks good, I can book from France onward to do the Camino? Mark from Canada ???????? thank you!????

Jennie Curtis
Do you have an update for American pilgrims? Will Americans be allowed to walk the Camino this summer? I am in the U.K. hoping to take a train via France to Bayonne and make my way to start via the Napoleon route. Thanks for any guidance you can offer!

James Rattigan.
Hoping to begin the Via de la Plata on the 15th.Sept.Any info concerning hostels etc. Would be welcome. Thanks.

Great news, I fly to Biarritz on the 18th for the start of my journey. Can’t wait ????

El camino con correos
Buen Camino!

Good morning! We are hoping to follow the route from Santiago to Finisterre in mid-August - do you know if the hostels there will be open and also the public transport? Thank you!

El camino con correos
Hello, Alison. You can check if public albergues are open and book a place on, and you can also find lists of accommodation, including private hostels, on our website, with contact information. Regarding public transport, there are options for travelling Fisterra-Santiago and other places in Galicia too. You can check out Monbus or Renfe, amongst others. Buen Camino!

Hey there! I would like to walk Camino del Norte (starting in Irun) and than continue by following Camino Primitivo from the beginning of August. However, almost all public albergue (and many privat too) are closed now. Please, don't you know if albergue are planned to be open by that time? I don't really like the idea of having a tent with me. And do you expact more pilgrims walking Camino in August? Many thankx for any info, it's hard to decide whether I should by the plane ticket or not :)

El camino con correos
Hello, Denisa. We expect more pilgrims to come in August, if everything goes well, and we also expect more albergues to open once they meet the sanitary requirements and have figured everything out, which takes time. Of course, nothing can be guaranteed and there's always a chance that things might take a turn, but we hope everything works out. Buen Camino!

Hi there, We're looking to do some of the Camino Frances from the end of July. Is there any way to book auberges online or do we have to call all of the hostels individually? Do you know if the most common places in the last 100km will likely have a hostel open? I don't want to start booking and then find that one place is still closed up. Also, do you know if shops/places to eat along route will be open as well? I don't want to set off on a walk without food if hostel kitchens are likely to be closed. Thank you in advance!

El camino con correos
Hello, Grace. For public albergues in Galicia, you can look up which albergues are open and book a place at There are also other websites that provide lists of albergues, hotels and hostels with contact details, but for those you would have to book individually, since each one has its own rules. There are quite a few open hostels on the last 100 km. though, so you should be fine. We suggest looking into our most recent article, there's useful links there. Regarding your last question, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a good place to eat. Most places are open, although with limited space, and supermarkets are always available too if you need it. Buen Camino!

Christopher Huston
My wife and I live in Idaho, USA. We have purchased tickets to fly to Paris on August 12, then to catch the train to StJPdP. But if the EU doesn't allow the US in by then we'll have to cancel the flight--and end up with some hefty travel vouchers. What an unsettled time!

Hello! Is this also valid for the Portuguese way? Thank you!

El camino con correos
Hello, Kristyna. The border between Portugal and Galicia is now open, since yesterday, so yes, it is also valid. Buen Camino!

Today on the French news I heard the border with Spain is open as of today and the Camino is open for pelgrims as well. In the same news item it was explained that the albergues are waiting for the pelgrims but not every albergues can meet the safety requirements (is mentioned in this blog) set by the government. So many uncertainties still. I will be arriving at St. Pied de port begin of July. We will see :)

Stuart Burns
Thank you for the helpful information above. I hope to walk the section León to Ponferrada some time in July. Please help: exactly how will one discover which Albergues will be open and how will one reserve a place overnight, as I gather booking will be required? Thanks.

El camino con correos
Hello, Stuart. We definitely suggest checking whether albergues are open and booking online when possible prior to starting the Camino to avoid any unnecessary contact. Even public albergues are now pondering the possibility of starting some kind of booking system for safety reasons. Everything is still up in the air, so we will have to wait and see and keep checking. In our 'TheCaminos' section we have collected different lists of albergues, hostels and hotels en each Camino that you can keep an eye on if you would like. Buen Camino!

Christina Lagnemar
Hi. I am from Sweden and I have a flyingticket to Malaga the 18:th of august. My hope is to go to Sevilla and start on Via de la Plata. What do you think about that? Are the hostels and albergues open and will it be safe? Kind regards

El camino con correos
Hi, Christina. The borders will be open and some establishments too, although we cannot guarantee that all the hostels are working. Buen Camino!

Sieben Salta
Does this apply to all the routes? I was hoping to do the northern coastal route in July but this speaks only about the Camino Frances. Will it be hard to find albergues along the northern coastal route? Thanks!

El camino con correos
Hi Sieben, the Camino Francés is where they are working harder to recover normality as soon as possible. In the Northern Way they are also starting to open the accommodations, although we do not know yet when they will open from the public hostels. Buen Camino!

Tony Spanglish
Wow Great news I missed my start this April but can now start planning for next year great effo9rt from all concerned!! Buen Camino

El camino con correos
Buen Camino!

Gary Hardie
See you in September..Buen Camno

El camino con correos
We'll see you. Buen Camino!

Maria Nilsson
Thank you so much for the good news! I´m a swedish pilgrim and hope that it will be possible to come back to the Camino also this summer (late August). It´s a dream and thought that "keep me up" during this absurd and horrible Corona-time.

El camino con correos
Take care, Maria. Buen Camino!

John Tormey
I am amazed the camino is reopening this year I wish everyone the best of luck and just hope it’s not soon

El camino con correos
Buen Camino, John!

Patrick D French
so when is the Camino Francais due to open ?

El camino con correos
Hi Patrick. If everything goes well, in July. Buen Camino!

Mike Vara
This is good news!

I've been waiting on this information. Thank you for the update!

Richard Barch
Thank you for the update????. Buen Camino ????????

El camino con correos
Thanks Richard! Buen Camino!

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