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A slight change in the air?

Nurah

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2016) Frances, (2018)Portuguese
They can impose the ban for any university-related purposes (conferences, field-work, collaboration etc). This fall I am teaching, albeit remotely, so while I could conceivably go to the EU as an Irish citizen and teach via ZOOM from there, I'd need my passport to arrive first and the Irish office -- where my PP was literally a day or 2 from being sent out when they closed last November -- is not going to reopen to get my PP just because I'd like to teach from Ourense or Ponferrada or Vigo. That does not count as "urgent business".

I have a sabbatical coming in January, and my hope was to associate as a visiting scholar with one of the universities in any of the above locations, take a Spanish course there, and do some more work on the ground on my secondary research track -- which is on the relationship of foodways to cultural well-being and health, broadly defined. My primary research is about disability, bioethics, and medicine as an institution. Contrary to public perception, sabbaticals are not time to faff around doing nothing; I have to have a research proposal that the university approves. "I'm going to Spain to walk around and eat tapas, visit churches and museums and walk my butt off" does not count. And, for the foreseeable, using the "vacation" card is not permitted by our border agents. So...

As soon as I try to accomplish that, I'm on "university business" and that is banned.

The travel ban is perfectly legal in a public health context that has restricted travel for all Canadians. It is considered an emergency measure.

My emotional response to it is twofold: I mourn the life and opportunities we have all lost to this scourge (and I recognize that I've not suffered at anything like the level that my students have; many come from groups that the virus has been able to target. 10% of my students have become sick; many have lost immediate family; some are now the only earners for their families; some are fighting with younger siblings for access to the *one* computer in the family...). But I also recognize that I have no particular entitlement to wander the world to please myself, and so I have put some of my toys away (no cruising flight booking sites, muted Booking.com, etc).

Eventually this will end... my PP will arrive, and perhaps by then I will be in the early exit plan to retirement with a gradually diminishing amount of teaching to do over 3 years to a final exit when I am 57/58... and then I can move to Spain. For these opportunities I count myself among the very fortunate.
I so appreciate your gratitude, compassion, and acknowledgement of extreme privilege. May all your journeys be blessed!🙏
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Read this on the Undogmatisches Pilgerforum on FB: A pilgrim who was on the way to SJPP yesterday, travelling on an ICE train to Paris and changing to the TGV there reports that they nearly missed the connection due to the fact that not only was the ICE train arriving late in Paris but also a huge queue formed because police checked the travellers' documents about their negative PCR test results.

It surprised me a bit because I'm not used to being checked for anything when I get off or on a train in those parts of Europe. :cool:
Yes, my son had to travel from London back to Hong Kong two months ago... To cut a long story short, he went via France and Spain and he was indeed checked every step of the way! Fortunately, at the time, very few people were travelling so no queues. From his pictures, it looks like he was the only passenger on the Eurostar London Paris 😁
 

Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Things are changing rapidly and there's reason for optimism for those who cannot yet travel into Spain or Portugal. Here's some up-to-date and good advice for the time being and for the next couple of months:
  • You can buy plane tickets, but the country may not be open to you.
  • Accommodation may be limited, and not all bookings will be flexible.
  • You may need immunization proof along the way.
  • Coronavirus restrictions will be different everywhere.
  • You may have to get a PCR test before and after your trip.
  • Have a Plan B.
Details in https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/tips/europe-travel-us-summer-travel/
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Things are changing rapidly and there's reason for optimism for those who cannot yet travel into Spain or Portugal. Here's some up-to-date and good advice for the time being and for the next couple of months:
  • You can buy plane tickets, but the country may not be open to you.
  • Accommodation may be limited, and not all bookings will be flexible.
  • You may need immunization proof along the way.
  • Coronavirus restrictions will be different everywhere.
  • You may have to get a PCR test before and after your trip.
  • Have a Plan B.
Details in https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/tips/europe-travel-us-summer-travel/

Repeat camino walkers may be willing to jump through hoops to get to Spain and many of us, in fact, travel alone to get there. However, many Americans will simply not go to countries requiring a PCR test!

I have already talked to some Americans (non-camino), annual tourists to Europe, who are saying, if I they have to scramble to get PCR within 3 days of Travel, and pay between 125-250 dollars per family member, they won’t go! They will postpone plans or go to countries like Greece or Croatia that will accept vaccination cards. IMO getting an Antigen test at the aiport for someone who is vaccinated should suffice. If not, European countries who want tourist dollars will be disappointed.

If countries are worried about the validity of Americans having a fake vaccination card, make the fine so steep, 50,000 Euros...for someone who obtains a forgery and prohibit Them from returning to that county,- a lifetime ban!

Just as Spain is reportedly ready to accept British without PCR Tests, they will need to allow Americans, and other vaccinated international passengers to do so, if they want to have a successful summer tourist season!
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!

Pilot program

Maroto said on Thursday that Spain will carry out a pilot program with 10 destinations starting next week. She also added that restrictions on non-essential travel for visitors from outside of the EU will also be relaxed.

“From Thursday, Spain wants to allow tourists from countries with a low incidence rate to visit without a PCR test – even if they have not been vaccinated. This move could benefit visitors from the UK, the United States and some countries in Latin America and Asia. These conditions would also apply to countries with a low incidence rate within Europe, meaning a traveler would only need to be vaccinated if they are coming from an area where the contagion rate is above the risk threshold.”
 
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Mycroft

Active Member
Hi Mycroft - no, I am not planning at all, just that when things do open up (if they open up) I might find myself on my way (possibly).
I always take the ferry from UK to Spain, then it is a cheap and fast coach ride to Bilbao and change for Pamplona (from Bilbao there is even a direct express to Puente la Reina and Estella for 12 Euros).
The ferry is 24 hours and crosses the Bay of Biscay, lands at Santander. It is comfortable with bars and lounges and restaurants, two cinemas, and live music at night. There is also a ferry to Bilbao but only for passengers with vehicles.
Rather good for anyone doing the Norte too.

It is quite cheap - though you are forced to book a cabin, no sleeping on the deck to save money! but you arrive Santander all fresh and rested and fed and clean and with plenty of time to travel onwards.

As for testing and all that stuff .. I will wait and see - we aren't allowed to go to Spain, and still won't be when we open up some safe countries on the 17th. The UK sees Spain as a dangerous Covid country.

Actually, thinking about it - for pilgrims from far across the oceans landing in the UK could be a pleasant method. Travel down to Plymouth and take the ferry - arrive in Spain all fresh and with no jet lag. There are frequent cheap flights from Santander back to the UK (in normal times). and for those who want to stay in Europe a long time? Well, we are independent now so no longer in the Schengen zone .. use up your time then pop over to beautiful UK for a couple of days and then ret
Thanks, David. Keep us posted as you learn info.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I really love your description of our present world. I live in Australia & we are all grounded here, so noone is travelling very far., apart from holidaying in our own very large country. Many people are doing treks & walks within Australia. We are all learning how beautiful and diverse our island is with so many hidden gems. I don't stop thinking about my next walk even though it is pencilled in for 2023/24. I also had 2 OS holidays booked for later this year, however both trips have transferred to take over next 3 years.
I really can't imagine how our return to Caminos will look going into the future. But my excitement for the new walk is still strong and will happen in the right time .
Meanwhile, Kerry, I know you and you'll be busy doing lots of local walks🚶‍♂️
 

AlexB

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés
No, you should fly to Europe with your Irish (EU) passport. There is no outbound passport control from Canada.
Hi I believe Ireland is not in the schengen area. I really don't know the implications but the maximum stay in the schengen area is 90 days
 

Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Hi I believe Ireland is not in the schengen area. I really don't know the implications but the maximum stay in the schengen area is 90 days
Doesn't matter. If you have an Irish passport you can stay in Spain as long as you want. You can go through the border control post for EU passport holders. You will not be subject to the same Covid-19 restrictions as those who don't hold an EU passport in their hands. Border control will not put Schengen entry/exit stamps in your Irish passport. @trecile's advice to use the Irish passport instead of the Canadian one when entering Spain is good advice.

PS: And in future, with an Irish passport or other EU passport, your personal details and travel details will not end up in the EU's EES database either.
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Well, I’m going to Spain tomorrow, it was originally for a two week stay, then back to the UK and early July, flight to Biarritz for another Camino. France‘s new regulations plus the quarantine on coming back to England made me switch to plan B!
Actually, I have no idea what plan B is, but I’ll be starting from Spain 😁
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Well, I’m going to Spain tomorrow, it was originally for a two week stay, then back to the UK and early July, flight to Biarritz for another Camino. France‘s new regulations plus the quarantine on coming back to England made me switch to plan B!
Actually, I have no idea what plan B is, but I’ll be starting from Spain 😁
Let us know what happens🤤
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Well, I’m going to Spain tomorrow, it was originally for a two week stay, then back to the UK and early July, flight to Biarritz for another Camino. France‘s new regulations plus the quarantine on coming back to England made me switch to plan B!
Actually, I have no idea what plan B is, but I’ll be starting from Spain 😁
Domigee,
Good luck as you keep on keeping on.
Please do post to the forum how your journey progresses.

Carpe diem and Ultreia.
 
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Nat2020

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminho Portugwe da Costa (2019 July)
Lisboa - Porto (2020 July)
Alas, even if the EU will open up to Canadians and/or if my passport arrives from Dublin (requiring their offices to re-open), my workplace has just re-newed the travel ban for all staff and faculty.

Cannot plan… or, *could* plan but it would just be a fantasy…
I'm glad for those who can hit the road. Unfortunately, I will wait for next year. No visa, flights are canceled. All travelers have a good journey. Always with you
 

Nat2020

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminho Portugwe da Costa (2019 July)
Lisboa - Porto (2020 July)
Alas, even if the EU will open up to Canadians and/or if my passport arrives from Dublin (requiring their offices to re-open), my workplace has just re-newed the travel ban for all staff and faculty.

Cannot plan… or, *could* plan but it would just be a fantasy…
I'm glad for those who can hit the road. Unfortunately, I will wait for next year. No visa, flights are canceled. All travelers have a good journey. Always with you!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
1341
After many long, long months of not making plans.... out came the guidebooks yesterday 😎 Wow, I’m back in my element! 😁

Are any of you feeling the same? Or maybe you never gave up planning?

It may not come to anything, of course but at least I feel a first ray of hope 🌈
It is just over a month since you posted this. I have not looked again at the subsequent posts, but it is heartwarming to note the change in energy in the posts on the forum over the recent weeks! There will come a time when the long view will help our perspective on this last eighteen or so months. No politics here, just history. The wheel keeps turning. Anyone with more signifcnt data, feel free to correct and contribute.
 

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