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COVID Acceptance of a possible reopening of the Camino by the locals?

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Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino de Baztan
Hello, everyone,

I'd like to ask you a question, perhaps a little provocative, and ask you for your view of things.

How do you assess the acceptance of a possible reopening of the Camino de Santiago in Spain for pilgrims from the EU by the local population?

Of course, I can fully understand that the owners of hostels, restaurants, bars and other facilities that live directly on the Camino would rather welcome pilgrims again better today than tomorrow. But what does the "ordinary" population, the employees of factories, banks, insurance companies, pensioners, teachers, health workers ..........., all those who would have "no direct material benefit" from the presence of pilgrims - say about this idea?

I myself work in a hospital, not directly with the patient, but close enough that I too am subject to various changes and restrictions that are not funny. But these limitations are nothing, nothing at all, compared to what the nurses and doctors in the severely affected areas of our globe have experienced in the last few weeks.

So what would I think as a Spaniard, after all my experiences of the past few months, if people from all over Europe were to reappear in my area, all of whom had not been quarantined before entering the country, i.e. could potentially be infected with corona without knowing it.
"What I know is, that these visitors do not have their own room with bath and shower and stay in one place. No, they travel along the Camino, sleeping in ever-changing mixtures in one (of course large and only half occupied) room every night and sharing the sanitary facilities with dozens of others. They come because they now see only a small risk of infection in my country.

They don't come primarily to help the economy in my area get back on its feet, which is only a positive side effect. They come primarily because THEY want to come - now, not next year, or at some other time that is objectively less critical - no, THEY want to go on pilgrimage now.

I myself have nothing of their presence. I only wish that the number of infections in my area continues to fall, that my children can finally go to school normally again, that I can finally visit my grandparents in their nursing home again, that I can take a breath and process my experiences, - in short - that a halfway normal life can take hold.

But THEY want to come.

I'm just so damn scared that everything will repeat itself, that we will have to go through it all again. And I have great doubts whether I and my dear ones would survive all that we have experienced since March one more time."

As a resident of Pamplona, Burgos, Leon... what would I think of the pilgrims from foreign countries who now walk through my city again? Would I rejoice at their presence?

Yesterday I would have travelled from Germany to Bayonne and today I would have set out to walk the Camino de Baztan and the Camino Frances to Leon.

At the moment it would not be possible to walk this way anyway, but maybe from middle of June.

But in the last few days I have often asked myself the question what I would have done if it had been possible.
I have tried to see my desire for this pilgrimage from the point of view of an inhabitant of a city on the Camino. Would he be happy to see me as a sign that things are looking up, or would fear be in the foreground, since I could be an additional source of infection.

Even if I know that an economic fresh start is urgently needed, but if I look deep inside myself - fear would predominate in this situation.

I certainly do not want to start a discussion about what speaks for and what speaks against opening the camino to foreigners.
P L E A S E . N O T.

What would be your answer as a Leonese. How do YOU assess YOURSELF in this situation, which feeling would outweigh: joy over the new beginning or fear of losing what you have achieved.


C clearly

Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
As a resident of Pamplona, Burgos, Leon... what would I think of the pilgrims from foreign countries who now walk through my city again?
I certainly do not want to start a discussion about what speaks for and what speaks against opening the camino to foreigners.
P L E A S E . N O T.
I do not see how forum members can usefully put themselves into the minds of the Spanish people, who undoubtedly have very mixed and variable opinions that will likely change day by day as new information emerges.

Nor do I see how this discussion can proceed without starting a discussion about the pros and cons of opening the camino to foreigners. That is at the heart of any answer to your question about the feelings/opinions of the people in Spain.

The matter is very complex and there is no simple solution. Whatever decisions are made, by nations or individuals, there will be real risks and there will be differences of opinion.


Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Thanks for your post, Michael. The majority of Forum members are not Spanish, so it doesn't seem wise that we would try to speak for Spaniards and speculate as to how they'll feel. If they're interested, it might be best for Spanish members of the Forum to send you private messages to let you know their own personal thoughts. Take care and Buen Camino!
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