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COVID Camino in October, or postpone? Help us decide

Past OR future Camino
2021
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
What if you were to take a personal supply of rapid antigen tests so that you’d not be caught off guard? You might have an unavoidable quarantine in Madrid with your plan, but depending on how many days you had budgeted for there, it might still be feasible?
What is the infection rate in Madrid right now? Who is being hit most as a population? Those questions, if you seek the answers might help you to decide…
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
I think the odds of fully vaccinated careful people testing positive is low, especially if you’re not staying in albergues, slightly higher if you are. But as we often say in medicine, despite low odds if it’s you it’s 100%. Only you know how disruptive or costly an unplanned isolation period at the end could be, and how tolerant you are of that low but possible risk
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
When the time is right
Any international travel is risky during this pandemic. Cases are rising and no one, not even the medical professionals and epidemiologists can foresee exactly what is to come as the virus may continue to mutate. I say plan for the worst ie positive COVID test and quarantine (it could happen) and factor that into your plans. It may not happen but it could. Then based on that decide together what your own comfort level is.

Whatever you decide…I wish you good health and buen Camino 😊.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Your decision depends largely on your own feelings about this camino. What would it cost you, in terms of disruption of your life, to have to quarantine in Spain and go home late? What would it cost you, in terms of your call to pilgrimage, to have to once again put off something that is important to you and you have gone too long without? Would you be willing to wait for the practical reason that your camino might again be disrupted by the very force that has put it off up to now? As a pilgrim who is retired and ten years or so older than yourself, I feel the wheel of time grinding away what years I may have left to walk caminos. But if you feel free to go again another time, then this may be what you choose to do. October seems to me to be a (relatively) safe time to go on camino, as numbers are decreasing from the summer highs. I shall be out there from mid-September to the end of November. Having bought an air ticket to Spain on impulse several months ago, I cannot give you any wise advice. Do what seems best to you in your situation.
 
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CalgaryLynn

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
If you are going to take all the normal precautions, is it going to be anymore likely you will get the virus on the Camino as compared to at home? The only place I see as being concerning is the airplane - in an enclosed spaced with many people breathing closely. With all the requirements to satisfy to get on a plane, at some point one has to take a leap of faith. How do we know that next year will be any better than right now! We don't, really!

Getting Covid and having to quarantine in another country would be a pain for sure. I am just going to be as careful as I can be and try to enjoy other people safely but most of the trip will be walking on my own.

Good luck with your decision.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
If not now, then when?

it’s not going to get any easier to decide anytime soon; many people are walking now, and have been for some time.
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
Fear is the biggest obstacle. Just go and enjoy . You are ready and are well prepared and so am I for Camino del Norte mid September to beg nov.
enjoy
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis, Portuguese Camino (Cluny, Le Puys), Hadrian's Wall, West Highland Way
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
We delayed twice and we are now planning on going April 2022. We too want to visit some cities after our walk and i am hoping things will be better not worse a year from now. I am also hopeful there will be more people vaccinated, less of the Delta Variant and a better experience...but that is just me. Good luck!
 
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Past OR future Camino
2021
What if you were to take a personal supply of rapid antigen tests so that you’d not be caught off guard? You might have an unavoidable quarantine in Madrid with your plan, but depending on how many days you had budgeted for there, it might still be feasible?
What is the infection rate in Madrid right now? Who is being hit most as a population? Those questions, if you seek the answers might help you to decide…
Great idea about the rapid tests!
 

Peligro

I walk between cafe breaks
Past OR future Camino
St. Jean to SdC the slow way (Aug'15, Aug'17, Jan'18, Aug'18, Jan'19, Jul'19) Primitivo (May'20)
We just had to weigh visiting my elderly mother and father-in-law in Valencia whom we hadn’t seen for two years versus possibly having our daughter miss freshman orientation at college if we failed the antigen test to get back. Not an easy choice. We rolled the dice, got to spend quality time with my wife’s parents (daughter’s grandparents), passed the test, made it home, and she heads off to college this weekend. We got lucky and that doesn’t mean you will, but my personal opinion is that we have all lost a lot of time to COVID so if the Camino calls, you are willing to take precautions, and you can afford a quarantine in the worst case scenario, then you should go. For what it’s worth, having just been in Spain, I’m heading back in ten days to walk the Primitivo.
 

Judy's Way

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Autumn (2015) and Spring (2019)
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
My husband and I were planning to finish walking the Camino del Norte from Bilbao in September/October. We had planned to do this in the spring of 2019 and cancelled due to COVID. Right now we are healthy and fit but at our ages (75 and 82) you never know if that will remain true. Reading this is what made us decide to wait. We decided not to go this fall but to wait until the spring. Things keep changing and it seems complicated to go now.

“First, search your own country's travel restrictions. Secondly, search the EU/ Spain's current travel restrictions and requirements. We thank vigilant forum members for recommending the following links as the most reliable sources of information:
  1. EU official website - This gives an overview of the travel and health situation in the EU countries. https://reopen.europa.eu/en. A smartphone app is available, as shown on the website.
  2. Spanish government - This is in English. https://www.spth.gob.es/ and also links to https://www.mscbs.gob.es/en/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov/spth.htm
  3. Spanish Tourist Office - https://travelsafe.spain.info/es/
  4. Aena (Spanish airports) - Has FAQ in English, dealing with Covid-19 related rules for people arriving at an airport in Spain. https://www.aena.es/en/frequentlyaskedquestions.html
  5. Visit Portugal.com - https://www.visitportugal.com/en/content/covid-19-measures-implemented-portugal
  6. French Government website - https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/coronavirus-covid-19
  7. Coming-to-France website - https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/c...virus-advice-for-foreign-nationals-in-france/
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Past OR future Camino
Too many to count!
@tpalmercurl I am in the same boat as you. I want to go, but I don't want to go mostly because of the hassles involved. I could deal with the possible quarenteen, but do I want to? @CalgaryLynn is right. This may be the new normal for awhile, so shall we just accept it and deal with the new normal?

For me, the best suggestion I've heard is @Faye Walker's idea of taking test kits for personal use so you are not taken off guard before the flight out. Perhaps a self test one week before the flight out would be prudent, or even three days before, so you are prepared.

The extra cost of a quarenteen would be a game changer for some, but just a nuisance for me. Humm, maybe I just talked myself into a trip?
 
Past OR future Camino
Sarria to Santiago 2010
Roncesvalles to Logrono 2015
Hospitalera 2016
Many thanks to all of you for these kind and thoughtful replies! We are grateful and taking all of your words to heart. !Buen camino a todos!
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
Can you get a booster shot before you go? Depending on when you got your original shot(s) it could make you safer, and feel safer, too. You could also delay and do a different route later. I've decided to cancel my September trip on the Via Francigena (Italy), and perhaps do the Mozarabe in southern Spain in December, instead. There are a lot of pilgrimage routes now and most are less crowded than the Frances, while still offering a comparable experience of history, culture, etc
 
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Past OR future Camino
Planning on the pilgrimage 2015
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
I read the replies, all good advice. My feeling is the joy etc from doing a camino vs possible quarantine.. doing the camino wins every time. Budget for the quarantine and go enjoy your camino. Buen
camino
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
What if you were to take a personal supply of rapid antigen tests so that you’d not be caught off guard? You might have an unavoidable quarantine in Madrid with your plan, but depending on how many days you had budgeted for there, it might still be feasible?
What is the infection rate in Madrid right now? Who is being hit most as a population? Those questions, if you seek the answers might help you to decide…
Please explain having your own supply of rapid antigen tests…
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
This is what I would offer. In May 2020, I knew deep down I needed to cancel. It was a personal decision but I knew it was right. This time, I leave in two days. I am a bit nervous about covid and the implications of the changes, lack of rooms etc. I am fully vaccinated, wear only n95 masks and am very careful around people. This all changes my Camino in terms of the communal part. Saying that I am going. I have none of the deep down knowing I needed to cancel this time. I have thought through many scenarios and have decided to hold the best laid plans loosely. I am going alone. It will be a different Camino but I know this time it is calling my name. Hope that helps. Trust your inner sense.
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Past OR future Camino
April-May 2019
Your decision depends largely on your own feelings about this camino. What would it cost you, in terms of disruption of your life, to have to quarantine in Spain and go home late? What would it cost you, in terms of your call to pilgrimage, to have to once again put off something that is important to you and you have gone too long without? Would you be willing to wait for the practical reason that your camino might again be disrupted by the very force that has put it off up to now? As a pilgrim who is retired and ten years or so older than yourself, I feel the wheel of time grinding away what years I may have left to walk caminos. But if you feel free to go again another time, then this may be what you choose to do. October seems to me to be a (relatively) safe time to go on camino, as numbers are decreasing from the summer highs. I shall be out there from mid-September to the end of November. Having bought an air ticket to Spain on impulse several months ago, I cannot give you any wise advice. Do what seems best to you in your situation.
I agree with Albertagirl. There will be significantly fewer pilgrims in your time period which should make it easier to find the kind of accommodation you need. My prediction is that in that time window you will experience warm beautiful days, cool nights, clear skies, cold rain coming down sideways, calm days, very windy days. Buen Camino!!
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Great advise Alberta girl…I hope our paths cross on the journey. Leaving in two days…from BC.
@Wanderingfriend
I am walking the Levante, leaving in a little over two weeks. There aren't many routes where we might coincide. Have a wonderful camino.
 

Peligro

I walk between cafe breaks
Past OR future Camino
St. Jean to SdC the slow way (Aug'15, Aug'17, Jan'18, Aug'18, Jan'19, Jul'19) Primitivo (May'20)
This is what I would offer. In May 2020, I knew deep down I needed to cancel. It was a personal decision but I knew it was right. This time, I leave in two days. I am a bit nervous about covid and the implications of the changes, lack of rooms etc. I am fully vaccinated, wear only n95 masks and am very careful around people. This all changes my Camino in terms of the communal part. Saying that I am going. I have none of the deep down knowing I needed to cancel this time. I have thought through many scenarios and have decided to hold the best laid plans loosely. I am going alone. It will be a different Camino but I know this time it is calling my name. Hope that helps. Trust your inner sense.
Exact same thing for me. My original Primitivo was scheduled for May 2020. In 11 days I start the same trip - cut and pasted from last year. I’m rooting for all of us!
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
@tpalmercurl I am in the same boat as you. I want to go, but I don't want to go mostly because of the hassles involved. I could deal with the possible quarenteen, but do I want to? @CalgaryLynn is right. This may be the new normal for awhile, so shall we just accept it and deal with the new normal?

For me, the best suggestion I've heard is @Faye Walker's idea of taking test kits for personal use so you are not taken off guard before the flight out. Perhaps a self test one week before the flight out would be prudent, or even three days before, so you are prepared.

The extra cost of a quarenteen would be a game changer for some, but just a nuisance for me. Humm, maybe I just talked myself into a trip?
So, if you take your own tests…who processes it? How will it affect you if you find you are + on your own?
 
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Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
If not now, then when?

it’s not going to get any easier to decide anytime soon; many people are walking now, and have been for some time.
Totally agree with this. COVID will be an issue for the next few years and there will be all
sorts of headlines and concerns and you will
always have this ‘should we/shouldn’t we’. conundrum. I did two caminos last year and am soon to embark on my second one this year and to me it’s feels much safer than being in cities/urban areas 24/7.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF Oct/Nov 2021
What if you were to take a personal supply of rapid antigen tests so that you’d not be caught off guard? You might have an unavoidable quarantine in Madrid with your plan, but depending on how many days you had budgeted for there, it might still be feasible?
What is the infection rate in Madrid right now? Who is being hit most as a population? Those questions, if you seek the answers might help you to decide…
Great idea about the rapid tests!
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
I leave October 19 from the U.S. My 1st Camino Sarria-SDC then on to Finisterre.….. hopefully followed by a week in Greece afterwards.
Having gone through all the “what if’s“, my doctor has agreed to give me meds for “just in case”.
For me, I have prepared as much as I can. This is what I am supposed to be doing at this time in my life and I am grateful and excited for the opportunity. If the plans are interrupted then they are.
Be at peace and I look forward to seeing your pics. Enjoy!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
There is some kind of COVID-19 test that has been mentioned on the forum as problematical for walking pilgrims, because it must be kept at a specific temperature: neither too hot nor too cold. I do not remember the details, but anyone who is buying tests might read the instructions, or consult the pharmacist, about this.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
My sense is that large parts of the world’s “first world” population are evolving into an attitude of “we are going to have covid with us for the foreseeable future, so let’s learn to live with it.” Just based on my own social circle and family, for some that means accepting limitations on movement and activity that would have been unthinkable before covid, and for others that means accepting a certain amount of risk of covid infection while tentatively moving back into more regular activity.

As so many others have said, there is no right or wrong answer, it’s such an individual combination of personal health factors, family health issues, and how well you tolerate risk. My only advice would be that if you feel terribly anxious at the thought of walking becase you are afraid of contracting covid (irrespective of what the real risks are), you just shouldn’t walk. What fun would it be to walk a camino in fear?
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
My sense is that large parts of the world’s “first world” population are evolving into an attitude of “we are going to have covid with us for the foreseeable future, so let’s learn to live with it.” Just based on my own social circle and family, for some that means accepting limitations on movement and activity that would have been unthinkable before covid, and for others that means accepting a certain amount of risk of covid infection while tentatively moving back into more regular activity.

As so many others have said, there is no right or wrong answer, it’s such an individual combination of personal health factors, family health issues, and how well you tolerate risk. My only advice would be that if you feel terribly anxious at the thought of walking becase you are afraid of contracting covid (irrespective of what the real risks are), you just shouldn’t walk. What fun would it be to walk a camino in fear?
In general, I agree with you. But I suspect that many of us move from one to the other- restricting our movement or going ahead anyway, based on a multitude of factors. Yesterday I saw a photo on this forum of several women close together socializing in an albergue. I found myself thinking: "I hope that the number of people staying in albergues will be down by the time that I am walking the Sanabres: I wouldn't feel safe with that group in an albergue." But then I realize that my choice of a camino is influenced by how safe I feel: not too many pilgrims in the albergues on the Levante, and there will (probably} be few on the Sanabres when I finally get there. So I am keeping myself safe without being totally aware of a risk, and am free to enjoy my camino.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Yes, I totally agree — it is a combination of individual assessment of risk and individual decisions about what kind of behavior fits within that risk.

I am scheduled to leave for the Camino in two weeks. I am going to wear N95 masks, I am going to stay in private accommodations, I am not going to eat inside a restaurant — it’s either outside or takeout. So I am going, but I’m not willing to do a lot of the things I used to do when I walked. No albergues or communal dinners for me. It’s funny, but for me this is a perfect alignment of the camino stars. I do not want to walk with anyone else this year, I just want to walk alone, so the covid risk just gives me “cover” to do that without appearing anti-social. Sort of like how Rebekah used to say — if you want people to leave you alone when you walk, just carry rosary beads. Now I will just put on a mask and glare. ;)
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
I just booked my trip yesterday. I am leaving 9/26 and returning 10/29. I am vaccinated and I plan to take every precaution and follow any local rules along the way. I will be walking Madrid/ San Salvador/ Primitivo. I am not going to concern myself with what might happen. If something should happen injury/Covid etc., I will deal with it at that time.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
@tpalmercurl I am in the same boat as you. I want to go, but I don't want to go mostly because of the hassles involved. I could deal with the possible quarenteen, but do I want to? @CalgaryLynn is right. This may be the new normal for awhile, so shall we just accept it and deal with the new normal?

For me, the best suggestion I've heard is @Faye Walker's idea of taking test kits for personal use so you are not taken off guard before the flight out. Perhaps a self test one week before the flight out would be prudent, or even three days before, so you are prepared.

The extra cost of a quarenteen would be a game changer for some, but just a nuisance for me. Humm, maybe I just talked myself into a trip?
I am not sure I understand the value of bringing test kits? It does nothing to prevent. You would still have to Quarantine. How does a test prepare you for anything?

Each individual needs to decide based on your own level of risk taking and understanding what impact a positive test might have on your other life. Imo, it is as simple as that.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
I leave October 19 from the U.S. My 1st Camino Sarria-SDC then on to Finisterre.….. hopefully followed by a week in Greece afterwards.
Having gone through all the “what if’s“, my doctor has agreed to give me meds for “just in case”.
For me, I have prepared as much as I can. This is what I am supposed to be doing at this time in my life and I am grateful and excited for the opportunity. If the plans are interrupted then they are.
Be at peace and I look forward to seeing your pics. Enjoy!
What is a just in case med?
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
if you want people to leave you alone when you walk, just carry rosary beads. Now I will just put on a mask and glare. ;)
If I see you somewhere, say, in Santiago, I promise to ignore the glare, to bow respectfully, and to leave without a word. Buen camino.
 
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wabana

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I fly on September 7 intendto finish my entire stay in Spain third week of October. As of last week you need a negative Covid test 72 hours or less prior to arrival in US. That likely will be the case later in October when I return. I am buying travel insurance which will cover the full cost of quarantine wherever that may be whatever hotel up to a couple hundred dollars a day. There is also full trip interruption coverage at any rate look into it. It’s not what I would consider cheap but it also covers emergency evacuation and emergency medical treatment . And yes the virus is going to be with us for the foreseeable future. I’m not getting any younger. And has Clint Eastwood said “don’t let the old man in”
 

Don Camillo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 04-16
Norte/Primitivo 09-16
VdlP/ Sanabres 02/3-17
Levante 09/17,
Ruta de la Lana 09/18
I am fully vaccinated. I understand that catching any variant of Covid will potentially impact me more than a younger person. I also understand that being vaccinated may or may not effect my potential to spread the virus. I can wear mask's, avoid crowds, rub gel on my hands every 5 minutes but do so remembering that the virus only has to "get lucky" once.
I had flights booked to Barcelona early Sept intending to walk both the Ebro from the delta end and the Aragon. On balance I reasoned that if anything I would be safer or as safe doing that as I would be by staying home in West Country, UK.
My flights are now cancelled and instead I am heading up to the West Coast of Scotland and will make a pilgrimage to Iona instead. The reason is not so much risk but hassle.
The hassle and problems that will be caused by a positive PCR test before returning to the UK from Spain are considerable. Immediate quarantine until contacted by Spanish health officials (their website says anything up to 72 hours), then isolation in a hotel room either theirs or yours at your expense. You eat whatever they supply. You then have to arrange a Dr to visit to provide a fit to fly certificate. And through all of this you get to rearrange your flights home. Expense and loads of hassle. The situation is complicated if there are two of you and only one tests positive.
I will be taking the same risks flying an hour up to Scotland. But there is a difference. The resultant consequence of catching Covid on the journey is manageable as I am covered (paid for) by our health system, operated in a language I understand fully. I will be taking LFT (rapid antigen tests) with me and will self test throughout.
Overall it is not so much a matter of risk - Spain especially rural Spain - is probably much safer than built up UK- it is a matter of consequence. Personal decision, personal risk assessment and ultimately personal choice.
 

Gerard Griffin

New Member
On the basis of my recent experience on the camino, I would strongly advise you to go ahead and do the Camino.

As other contributors have pointed out, Camino life is an excellent way of avoiding catching Covid or transmitting it to others, especially if you are fully vaxed.

You eat and drink outside; in hostels the anti-covid measures are very effective, with 2 meter spaces and good ventilation widespread. Pilgrims are careful, they stay in their "bubbles". Rural Spain is relatively safe compared to urban areas in Spain and elsewhere. Transmission on planes is statistically insignificant.

I'm over 70 and very conscious of the fact that my Camino life, which is essential to me, is coming to a close. So if not now, when?

For me, the risk is small, manageable and on balance very much worth taking. But every Camino is a personal decision ... So good luck. And buen Camino, amigo.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2021
Can you get a booster shot before you go? Depending on when you got your original shot(s) it could make you safer, and feel safer, too. You could also delay and do a different route later. I've decided to cancel my September trip on the Via Francigena (Italy), and perhaps do the Mozarabe in southern Spain in December, instead. There are a lot of pilgrimage routes now and most are less crowded than the Frances, while still offering a comparable experience of history, culture, etc
I am going to look into boosters. My second shot was in April, so the recommended 8-month interval for me is not until December. But if I can get it early, I will.
 

elizason

Member
Past OR future Camino
Lisbon- Santiago Sept-Oct 2015
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
Hello,
I too have been apprehensive, for my planned October camino.
As I will not have an additional 2 weeks to stay beyond my return date to quarantine. Due to work.
I am vaccinated and feel very confident, but then my closest friend who is very careful and vaccinated was contacted by her eye doctor after a visit that she may have been exposed by another patient.
She felt fine but did test positive after all.
I plan to stay in private rooms the final 2 weeks and be extremely distant from others .
My desire to walk overrides all else. Just be prepared a quarantine could happen, but then this pandemic will not be finished any time soon.
I refuse to live with fear at the forefront.
Enjoy your walk

Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
 
Past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
Your decision depends largely on your own feelings about this camino. What would it cost you, in terms of disruption of your life, to have to quarantine in Spain and go home late? What would it cost you, in terms of your call to pilgrimage, to have to once again put off something that is important to you and you have gone too long without? Would you be willing to wait for the practical reason that your camino might again be disrupted by the very force that has put it off up to now? As a pilgrim who is retired and ten years or so older than yourself, I feel the wheel of time grinding away what years I may have left to walk caminos. But if you feel free to go again another time, then this may be what you choose to do. October seems to me to be a (relatively) safe time to go on camino, as numbers are decreasing from the summer highs. I shall be out there from mid-September to the end of November. Having bought an air ticket to Spain on impulse several months ago, I cannot give you any wise advice. Do what seems best to you in your situation.
Albertagirl you’re soon departing. Praying all goes well with your travel PCR test , flight and arrival! Buen Camino.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
Yes, I totally agree — it is a combination of individual assessment of risk and individual decisions about what kind of behavior fits within that risk.

I am scheduled to leave for the Camino in two weeks. I am going to wear N95 masks, I am going to stay in private accommodations, I am not going to eat inside a restaurant — it’s either outside or takeout. So I am going, but I’m not willing to do a lot of the things I used to do when I walked. No albergues or communal dinners for me. It’s funny, but for me this is a perfect alignment of the camino stars. I do not want to walk with anyone else this year, I just want to walk alone, so the covid risk just gives me “cover” to do that without appearing anti-social. Sort of like how Rebekah used to say — if you want people to leave you alone when you walk, just carry rosary beads. Now I will just put on a mask and glare. ;)
Hadn't heard that rosary beads anecdote - quite funny!
 
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Mycroft

Active Member
I am fully vaccinated. I understand that catching any variant of Covid will potentially impact me more than a younger person. I also understand that being vaccinated may or may not effect my potential to spread the virus. I can wear mask's, avoid crowds, rub gel on my hands every 5 minutes but do so remembering that the virus only has to "get lucky" once.
I had flights booked to Barcelona early Sept intending to walk both the Ebro from the delta end and the Aragon. On balance I reasoned that if anything I would be safer or as safe doing that as I would be by staying home in West Country, UK.
My flights are now cancelled and instead I am heading up to the West Coast of Scotland and will make a pilgrimage to Iona instead. The reason is not so much risk but hassle.
The hassle and problems that will be caused by a positive PCR test before returning to the UK from Spain are considerable. Immediate quarantine until contacted by Spanish health officials (their website says anything up to 72 hours), then isolation in a hotel room either theirs or yours at your expense. You eat whatever they supply. You then have to arrange a Dr to visit to provide a fit to fly certificate. And through all of this you get to rearrange your flights home. Expense and loads of hassle. The situation is complicated if there are two of you and only one tests positive.
I will be taking the same risks flying an hour up to Scotland. But there is a difference. The resultant consequence of catching Covid on the journey is manageable as I am covered (paid for) by our health system, operated in a language I understand fully. I will be taking LFT (rapid antigen tests) with me and will self test throughout.
Overall it is not so much a matter of risk - Spain especially rural Spain - is probably much safer than built up UK- it is a matter of consequence. Personal decision, personal risk assessment and ultimately personal choice.
Having pilgrimaged to Iona a number of times, I support your choice to go there. Are you walking any routes or simply getting out to Mull and Iona by ferry?
In any case overall, you should do whatever you feel more comfortable doing. Buen camino.
 

Don Camillo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 04-16
Norte/Primitivo 09-16
VdlP/ Sanabres 02/3-17
Levante 09/17,
Ruta de la Lana 09/18
Having pilgrimaged to Iona a number of times, I support your choice to go there. Are you walking any routes or simply getting out to Mull and Iona by ferry?
In any case overall, you should do whatever you feel more comfortable doing. Buen camino.
Mycroft,
I am taking the ferry over to Mull then on the bus etc to Iona. I know there is a pilgrim route from Iona back to the ferry at Craignure but doubt I will be walking that. I intend to concentrate on Iona - Abbey visit and sunday service, hike up to the "eternal youth" spring (what I need to drink is probably measured by the gallon) plus hike down to St Columba's Bay.
I miss Spain and the Camino but feel now that the sudden change of plan and trip to Iona - dare I say it - was meant to be.
Don.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this thread. Your input really helped. A few of you asked me to post when we had made our decision.

We are postponing our trip until the spring. This was a split decision -- one of us wanted to stick with our plans, the other wanted to wait. We agreed that, ideally, we would be on the same page and eager to get back to the Camino. So that means postponing for now. The consolation prize is that we are planning to spend Holy Week in Spain for the first time in 2022. We'll pray for continued improvement in the Covid situation meanwhile.

Safe journeys to all of you!
 
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shefollowsshells

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Several alone and with children
Our trip (delayed since 2019) is set for mid-October. We will be doing our eighth and final leg, from Lugo to Santiago/Finisterre. We are vaccinated and healthy, both over 60. We will mask and distance as much as possible, though our trip includes several days in Madrid, where these measures will be a little more challenging. Our biggest concern is the Covid test we must pass before we can travel home to the U.S. An unforeseen positive, and lengthy quarantine, is a big risk. Interested to know the decisions others have made, what you have observed on the ground in Spain, what opinions anyone may have. Thanks!
Go!!!! Our virus is not going away soon… vaccinate have proof, keep a mask in your left pocket ( or right) have it on hand instantly. We are in week three of Le Puy and the virus to this point has done nothing to alter our pilgrimage, if I’m honest my biggest inconvenience has been only three people allowed in a tiny market on day two. My husbands healthy brother on November 1, 2020 was preparing his garden of his new house, and five months later took his last breath in that same new house from a rapid cancer. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. I did my due diligence, I spent 18 months doing all I could do to protect myself and others, was one of the first 1,000 in the US to be vaccinated and worked at time volunteering to work the covid unit to protect other staff not wanting to. The virus is here, will have other variants I have no doubt. Vaccinate be respectful to others. I am safer to self and others on pilgrimage…
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
I would agree with above. I have spent much of the least year in Spain, doing 2 Caminos last year and soon to embark on my second one this year. I doubt if this will be much different next year. The bars are packed, the beaches are packed, the shops are packed. If it wasn’t for masks I wouldn’t know about the virus to be honest. I guess I don’t really follow Spanish media so I absolutely know nothing about trends, variants, etc so maybe it is easy for me to think this way (the only place I read about COVID is on this forum). It sometimes feel that people think that life is as it was when the pandemic started! It’s definitely not! There will be more variants, more media speculation! The subject isn’t going away!
 

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