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OBSOLETE COVID THREAD Article: Australian travellers may be locked out of Europe as Omicron surges

OBSOLETE COVID THREAD
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Something to keep an eye on as it develops for Australians hoping to do a camino in the coming weeks or months. From the SMH:

Australian travellers may be locked out of Europe as Omicron surges

Australians hoping to book a holiday in Europe may be locked out after the European Council advised member states to block visitors from Australia, which it singled out as a “COVID danger zone” due to surging Omicron case numbers.

The directive, which applies regardless of vaccination status, means people wanting to undertake non-essential travel to Europe from Australia could face restrictions ranging from a total ban on entry to having to quarantine or face extra testing requirements.
 
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Something to keep an eye on as it develops for Australians hoping to do a camino in the coming weeks or months. From the SMH: Australian travellers may be locked out of Europe as Omicron surges
It sounds dramatic what this Australian newspaper writes. Seen from the EU it looks less dramatic. The official statement has this title: Council removes Argentina, Australia and Canada from the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted.

It simply means that travellers from Australia have lost the very privileged status that they had since the beginning of the Covid-19 health crisis. They now have the same status as travellers from the USA for example. Which basically means that they must be duly vaccinated. Up to now, the EU had recommended that all travellers from Australia could enter an EU country, whether they were vaccinated or not, and that they needed no pre-flight tests and no post-flight quarantine. Spain had followed these recommendations, other EU countries had not.

You will see this reflected on the Spain Travel Health webpage as soon as the Spanish government has updated their national law about their Covid-19 entry restrictions.
 
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anamcara

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Chemin du Piémont 😎
I make no comment about Spain or ‘privileged’ status of travellers from Australia or anywhere else. The priority for our personal travel in April is France. And many people heading to a Camino also fly in to France for one reason or another.

On the official French government website that I go to for information, Australia has now been changed from a green country to an orange country. There are some consequences depending on your circumstances. They may not be ‘dramatic’ but a development worth watching for some. For our personal situation - triple vaccinated - the change from green to orange turns out to be ok even if a ‘compelling reason to travel’ test were to be in place as my husband is a French National.

Even before this development, travellers from Australia have required to be fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test to board an international flight with very few exemptions.

This is my go to source re France, not the news report - but I appreciate @jungleboy alerting me to the developments so I could follow up.
https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/c...g-to-france-your-covid-19-questions-answered/

It is interesting - for those planning to travel to France - that as at 23 January, there is a message on the site to say ‘this page is being updated’.

Thanks again @jungleboy for thinking of your fellow Aussies 😎
 
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Sirage

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Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)
It sounds dramatic what this Australian newspaper writes.
Thanks for clarifying Kathar1na - it is some years since the SMH and The Age were noble papers-of-record. I will not alter my Camino intentions for this year.
 
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
You will see this reflected on the Spain Travel Health webpage as soon as the Spanish government has updated their national law about their Covid-19 entry restrictions.
It's good that you brought this to the forum's attention, @jungleboy. Unbeknownst to us, the Spanish government has already updated their website. When you look at their current official weekly list under this link Risk/High Risk Countries/Areas you will see* that Australia and Canada are not any longer listed under the title "All Third Countries [= non-EU countries] are considered at risk except the following". New Zealand is still on the list and had been on it from the beginning.

It may not be immediately obvious what this means in practical terms. It means that from now on travellers from Australia must be vaccinated if they want to go on Camino in Spain.

* Click on link, then scroll down to tab Risk and High Risk Countries/Areas, then open pdf files for List Valid From 12:00 am on January 17th and List Valid From 12:00 am on January 24th.
 
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Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Thanks for clarifying Kathar1na - it is some years since the SMH and The Age were noble papers-of-record. I will not alter my Camino intentions for this year.
As I said already, from now on Spain will require vaccination from travellers from Australia. That is the important part of these news. No entry into Spain for Camino trips ("non essential travel") without jabs, that is the general rule now.

I don't know if anything, or what, will change as far as the other 26 EU countries are concerned because travel/entry restrictions are vastly different from one country to the next and from one week to the next. Generally speaking, vaccination will be a requirement for the overwhelming majority of travellers coming from outside of the EU.
 
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dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
smartraveller@smartraveller.gov.au

This is the Australian government's traveller alert website. You can subscribe to alerts for any specific country and they will email you updates on advice and requirements. At present, you need to be vaccinated to enter Spain no more than 270 days before your arrival. Here is what they last issued:

Spain


COVID-19 safety measures are in place and vary between regions. It's mandatory to wear a mask in public indoor and outdoor spaces. Some regions require you to present a vaccination certificate for entry into public venues, such as hotels, bars, restaurants and museums. Australia’s digital COVID certificate may not be accepted at some of these venues. Entry requirements into Spain are based on the country you are travelling from and are constantly changing. Australia is designated as an 'at risk' country for entry into Spain. Unvaccinated travellers from Australia can no longer enter Spain for tourism. From 1 February, vaccination certificates will only be valid for 270 days from the administration of the last vaccine dose. You should refer to the Spanish Health website for the most up to date information.
We advise:
Exercise a high degree of caution in Spain due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Read the full travel advice.
 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
We've just ejected a well known tennis player because he was not vaccinated; seems reasonable that other countries would require us to be vaccinated!
Generally speaking, vaccination will be a requirement for the overwhelming majority of travellers coming from outside of the EU.
There are some limited exceptions to the vaccination requirements for travel in most European countries. But I think that anyone who still wants to travel internationally while unvaccinated is going to have a very hard time of it for a while yet. Even after passing border controls the technical grounds for exemption may not be widely understood or accepted during your journey. In a recent visit to Lithuania my vaccination record was checked on entry to all museums, supermarkets, restaurants and shops. Not sure I would have been able to explain being unvaccinated in Lithuanian!
 

anamcara

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Chemin du Piémont 😎
From a practical perspective, given the very high vaccination rates in Australia and the rules in place for some time (in relation to proof of vaccination) for boarding international flights from Australia, I’d be surprised if there were many pilgrims from Australia on this forum or indeed generally who have been planning to walk a camino unvaccinated! 😎
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
It is interesting - for those planning to travel to France - that as at 23 January, there is a message on the site to say ‘this page is being updated’.
That's because of the law about the "pass vaccinal" rules that will replace the law about the "pass sanitaire" rules as of Monday 24 January 2022 in France.
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
When you look at their current official weekly list under this link Risk/High Risk Countries/Areas
I just noticed what it says at the top of this webpage of the Spanish government:

"Page under continuous review".​
Perhaps we should add this to every forum thread about restrictions concerning travel to another country, whether EU or not: "Thread under continuous review". ☺️
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
As I said already, from now on Spain will require vaccination from travellers from Australia. That is the important part of these news. No entry into Spain for Camino trips ("non essential travel") without jabs, that is the general rule now.
I think that it's crazy that any country allows unvaccinated travelers in. Except of course those who can't be vaccinated for medical reasons - and the rest of us need to protect them by getting vaccinated.
 

Michael Miller

New Member
Past OR future Camino
September 18, (2019) to October 30, (2019)
I make no comment about Spain or ‘privileged’ status of travellers from Australia or anywhere else. The priority for our personal travel in April is France. And many people heading to a Camino also fly in to France for one reason or another.

On the official French government website that I go to for information, Australia has now been changed from a green country to an orange country. There are some consequences depending on your circumstances. They may not be ‘dramatic’ but a development worth watching for some. For our personal situation - triple vaccinated - the change from green to orange turns out to be ok even if a ‘compelling reason to travel’ test were to be in place as my husband is a French National.

Even before this development, travellers from Australia have required to be fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test to board an international flight with very few exemptions.

This is my go to source re France, not the news report - but I appreciate @jungleboy alerting me to the developments so I could follow up.
https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/c...g-to-france-your-covid-19-questions-answered/

It is interesting - for those planning to travel to France - that as at 23 January, there is a message on the site to say ‘this page is being updated’.

Thanks again @jungleboy for thinking of your fellow Aussies 😎
I'm from Canada and in September of 2019 when I did the Camino Francais I initially landed at Madrid International Airport from Toronto Canada and the Customs officers were very polite and expedited my clearance. I then got on a bus which took me to the train station where I boarded a train to Pamplona Spain. At the Pamplona train station I hopped into a shared taxi with some Americans which took us to St. Jean Pied de Port France. At the time, (September 2019), there was no Customs or border inspection there at the French/Spanish frontier, as both Spain and France were part of the Shengen. Once there, I booked into a hostel for the night. In the morning, I shuffled off with fellow Pilgrims on the street whom I had only just met and we commenced our hike over the Pyranees Mountains (Route Napoleon) to Ronsacvalles Spain. Who knows, maybe now France has an inspection station at the France/Spain border on the route from Pamplona Spain to St. Jean Pied de Port, but I wouldn't think so and I wouldn't think France would have any other kind of reporting requirements for travellers arriving there who have already been cleared by a fellow Shengen nation. Maybe that routing would work for you and any other aspiring Pilgrims? Who knows?
 

Sirage

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)

anamcara

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Chemin du Piémont 😎
thank you @Michael Miller and you’re right that’s an ideal way to get to the Camino Frances., whether starting in SJPP, Roncesvalles or Pamplona. And Madrid is a great step off for many Caminos. 🙏

In our case, we are not walking the Camino Frances and our family is in Paris, so that will always be our first port of call and priority. We do hope though to walk Caminos in France and the Basque Country and visit a little in Spain while in Europe.

We will just continue to monitor the rules and requirements for our destinations, as we and millions of others have been doing for the past two years! I’m optimistic and hope everyone’s plans will come true 😎
 
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Ellann

Member
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Portuguese Camino 2022
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Something to keep an eye on as it develops for Australians hoping to do a camino in the coming weeks or months.
If recent times have taught us anything it is that things can change quickly and often.
Indeed, things can change quickly and often! As my darling's medical situation requires some planning, I have been working on a number of plans, with various routes, various departure dates, and I'm waiting for the right conditions.

Our entry point to Europe will be Switzerland, as we are dual nationals and have family there. There's another example where requirements change quickly and often.

If we have to wait even longer, so be it, the Camino will always be there.
 
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
From a practical perspective, given the very high vaccination rates in Australia and the rules in place for some time (in relation to proof of vaccination) for boarding international flights from Australia, I’d be surprised if there were many pilgrims from Australia on this forum or indeed generally who have been planning to walk a camino unvaccinated! 😎
In fact, I doubt that any Australian could leave the country without being vaccinated and having to hand the digital international covid certificate … airlines are checking everyone and everything … that’s my reading of it … and I’ve booked my flight and read the requirements …
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
... and perhaps with conditions.
If the "conditions" are medical conditions for which the vaccine is contraindicated.

It sounds like this article used an sensational headline to get reader's attention, and it's unlikely that Australians will be "locked out" of Europe any more than Americans are currently "locked out."
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
While I am not worried about the future, I know to make alternative arrangements and plans. This includes getting and and all vaccinations available to me, taking a PCR test a day or two before planning to travel to Europe - whether or not it is a condition of entry to the Schengen Zone - and assuming that things will change.

I will have little or not control, and I simply need to adapt and overcome the obstacle placed in path. It is what pilgrims do every day in big and little ways.

I try to relax and go with the flow, knowing that the journey is the destination - not the planned ending place.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
It sounds dramatic what this Australian newspaper writes. Seen from the EU it looks less dramatic. The official statement has this title: Council removes Argentina, Australia and Canada from the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted.

It simply means that travellers from Australia have lost the very privileged status that they had since the beginning of the Covid-19 health crisis. They now have the same status as travellers from the USA for example. Which basically means that they must be duly vaccinated. Up to now, the EU had recommended that all travellers from Australia could enter an EU country, whether they were vaccinated or not, and that they needed no pre-flight tests and no post-flight quarantine. Spain had followed these recommendations, other EU countries had not.

You will see this reflected on the Spain Travel Health webpage as soon as the Spanish government has updated their national law about their Covid-19 entry restrictions.
I saw the article when it appeared and it seemed to me another beat-up for a scary headline. Newspapers were always so, but they are increasingly struggling to be relevant and find a readership in the digital age.
 
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DonnaS18

Member
Past OR future Camino
Sept (2018)
It’s now the 16th Feb, is this old news and what is the current position?
Just have to carry your vaccination certificate. Some people convert their Aus certificate to a European one as not many AUS travellers yet so our vac certificate may not be well recognised in 100% of places. As more Aussies travel it will be more recognised.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2014, Frances 2015, Frances 2016, Frances 2018, Frances & Accessible 2019
Just have to carry your vaccination certificate. Some people convert their Aus certificate to a European one as not many AUS travellers yet so our vac certificate may not be well recognised in 100% of places. As more Aussies travel it will be more recognised.
Thanks Donna, good info 👍
 

Ellann

Member
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese Camino 2022
Just have to carry your vaccination certificate. Some people convert their Aus certificate to a European one as not many AUS travellers yet so our vac certificate may not be well recognised in 100% of places. As more Aussies travel it will be more recognised.
Smart Traveller does not indicate that Australian's can travel to Portugal for "non essential" travel. In fact Australia is NOT on the list of countries that is allowed. I am not 100% sure, but if I was heading there soon I would be making major enquiries.
 
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Bristle Boy

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I saw the article when it appeared and it seemed to me another beat-up for a scary headline. Newspapers were always so, but they are increasingly struggling to be relevant and find a readership in the digital age.
We have experience of newspapers owned by an Australian media magnate printing articles lacking truth and accuracy in pursuit of sensational headlines ("10,000 UK holidaymakers refused entry to Portugal"). This was when the air corridor to Portugal was closed for UK holidaymakers due to covid.
Such articles always appeal to the gullible and are attempts to combat a falling circulation.
 
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Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Australian travellers may be locked out of Europe as Omicron surges
This thread popped up in my news feed. We are now nearly a month later than when this news title appeared. Australians are not locked out of Europe.

I did not check the current entry conditions of every of the 27 EU countries. This I know for sure: vaccinated Australian tourists including Camino pilgrims are not locked out of Spain and France.

Due to what I consider a rather weird development that puzzles me no end they are, however, currently, and apparently, barred from flying to an airport in Portugal (unless they also have a Portuguese passport or belong to a limited group of categories that benefit from an exemption). It is unlikely to last for much longer.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2009, 2014, 2017
Closing the thread now as new information and policies continue to change and evolve. If you are from Australia and traveling to Europe, please check the latest guidelines from the respective governments.
 
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