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COVID Covid News for UK Travellers to Spain

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lindam

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Past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
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Kazibar

New Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP to SDC Sept 2015, Baiona to SDC May 2017, SDC to Muxia Sept 2018, Few bits VdP Sept 2019
they’ve aldo changed travel advice back to advising against all but essential travel. Which means if I went I would have no travel insurance. Awful news for me. I have advanced cancer And was due to go to Spain for a month in few days. After that I’m back into chemo which may or may not work. Planning my trip has made me feel so alive. Now I’m just flattened. But I can’t risk it.,
 

Helen1

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
@Kazibar I really feel for you, you must be totally gutted. Hopefully the number of cases will come down very quickly, the rules will change again and you might still be able to go for a shorter trip. I know it’s not the same but could you do a camino in France (Lourdes?) or somewhere like Tenerife where you can still get insurance?

We’re due to go in September (postponed from March) and were quite hopeful we would get to go but I am thinking less than 50/50 odds now. Looking at what is happening in other countries the UK will probably have a second spike right around September and Brits, understandably, won’t be welcome in Spain :(
 

Lexicos

Jimmy
Past OR future Camino
2019
I hope the cure works for you Kazibar. Keep your plan of going, it won’t stay like this for too much longer. The borders will open. A vaccine and cure will be found and we will walk the Camino. It is hard to postpone and let go but work at staying strong and keep the hope and the idea firmly fixed in your heart and in your mind. The Camino will see us all again, for sure. It will.
 

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P Rat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino VDLP/Sanábres April 2019
Camino Mozárabe when we can again...(2021?)
they’ve aldo changed travel advice back to advising against all but essential travel. Which means if I went I would have no travel insurance. Awful news for me. I have advanced cancer And was due to go to Spain for a month in few days. After that I’m back into chemo which may or may not work. Planning my trip has made me feel so alive. Now I’m just flattened. But I can’t risk it.,
Wishing you strength
 
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Mycroft

Active Member
they’ve aldo changed travel advice back to advising against all but essential travel. Which means if I went I would have no travel insurance. Awful news for me. I have advanced cancer And was due to go to Spain for a month in few days. After that I’m back into chemo which may or may not work. Planning my trip has made me feel so alive. Now I’m just flattened. But I can’t risk it.,
Kazibar, I am sorry you cannot take your planned trip, and agree you are wise to be as safe as possible. I am happy you had fun planning the trip, though. I, for one, would be interested in hearing from you on the plans you made--maybe something similar to those who write virtual stages of various caminos. I'm in the US and wonder how long it will be before other countries allow me in, so vicariously hearing of your plans would be a delight! Are you interested?
 

nathanael

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Plata,
I hope the cure works for you Kazibar. Keep your plan of going, it won’t stay like this for too much longer. The borders will open. A vaccine and cure will be found and we will walk the Camino. It is hard to postpone and let go but work at staying strong and keep the hope and the idea firmly fixed in your heart and in your mind. The Camino will see us all again, for sure. It will.
yes indeed I agree Lexicos on your advice. hopefulness is essential.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Kazibar, where do you live? Do you have an EHIC? Because that will still work whatever the gubmint says. Also, as far as risk is concerned, remember not all of Spain is at the same levels. Whatever you decide, people here are on your side.
 

Kazibar

New Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP to SDC Sept 2015, Baiona to SDC May 2017, SDC to Muxia Sept 2018, Few bits VdP Sept 2019
I do have an EHIC. And I was walking Burgos to Fromista and then Leon to O Cebreiro. So not Pamplona. But it does invalidate my insurance which means I think my friend who was going with won’t come... and it leaves me scared. Oh I don’t know...
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
whatever the gubmint says
The UK government didn't say anything at all about the EHIC card. Here is what the UK government did say:
From 26 July, the FCO advises against all non-essential travel to mainland Spain based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. Only the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa) and Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera) are exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel.
This advice is based on evidence of increases in cases of COVID-19 in several regions, but particularly in Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia (which include the cities of Zaragoza, Pamplona and Barcelona).
The FCO is not advising those already travelling in Spain to leave at this time. Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. If you are returning from Spain (including from the Balearics and Canaries) on or after 26 July you will be required to quarantine on your return to the UK, but the FCO is not advising you to cut short your visit. You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.
 
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Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Well, the EHIC won't get you repatriation, but it will see your medical needs taken care of. Why not sit down with a glass or cup of something, relax for a few minutes, and then talk to your proposed walking companion.
Someone else suggested a French camino, and that could work for you. Maybe even an English one, if that's where you are. Canterbury, or Walshingham. A month would get you a good section of the Le Puy route, or maybe Rocamadour or Lourdes. Nice walking and an objective to reach at the end.
Is this a pilgrimage? Don't answer that here if you would prefer not to, just take it into consideration as you decide.
Aid to decision.... Sheet of paper and a pencil. Two columns. One side reasons to go. Other side reasons to postpone.
When it's done, put it away until the next day. Cup of something, open and read when you have no distractions. Sleep on it again before you decide.
Try to relax, warm bath, all the usual good things that make you feel good. Take your time about deciding.
 
Past OR future Camino
Ponferrada to Santiago (2019)
Seville to Zafra (2020)
Porto to Santiago (2020)
Here is the latest news from the UK for travellers to Spain: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-5354069...kHyuddetSZfn7ICFT80N_KyjA18ewNW70F6y-oMwLguI#. In summary, a 14 day quarantine will come into effect at midnight on 25 July for travellers from the UK returning from Spain. Not yet in place, but seems likely that Spain will follow suit for those returning to Spain from the UK.
I am so sorry for all who had intended to go and now feel unable. Certainly the fact that travel insurance would be invalidated is not something that can be ignored even if someone was prepared or able to add 14 days quarantine to their time away. I was SO fortunate to complete my Camino Portuguese and return home on July 17th without an issue. Ironically I thought the safeguards in place were much better than in the UK and I felt very safe.
 

Maggie Y

Maggie
Past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte Sept 2013
Camino del Norte Sept 2014
Camino del Norte 2015,16,17,18
Sorry to hear your news. I don't know where you are but the coastal footpath around the West Coast of Wales reminds me of el Camino Norte
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
I do have an EHIC. And I was walking Burgos to Fromista and then Leon to O Cebreiro. So not Pamplona. But it does invalidate my insurance which means I think my friend who was going with won’t come... and it leaves me scared. Oh I don’t know...
@Kazibar, stay strong. Cancer is a b*****, I know from experience. Positivity is sometimes hard, but it is one thing that really helped me. I’m waiting to do my first Camino, it should have happened in June, and I know it will. From all that I have read on this forum, if your friend cannot go, you will meet other pilgrims en route who will help you along the way. In fact, maybe you will make more friends if you do go alone. Wishing you all the best.
 
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chinacat

Veteran Member
If you do choose the West Wales Coastal, bear in mind that whilst we have very few ‘native’ cases, we do have a huge influx of visitors from England, since our Senedd opened our borders. Most of them seem to be in coastal areas.
Also, our Hospitals are taking their time to re-introduce ‘normal‘ service.

Only you can make the decision ... I wish you strength and peace.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
please see signature
Planning my trip has made me feel so alive. Now I’m just flattened.

I can understand the pull of a short pilgrimages anywhere from Saint-Jean to Compostela. The infrastructure is more than complete and the vistas generally commanding, even on the meseta.

Someone has already mentioned walking from Le Puy. My suggestion there would be from Le Puy (and especially attend the early morning (7am) pilgrims Mass and the sending out is unique. I would suggest a stop at Saint-Come d'Olt or up the road at Espalion. Then I recommend fast forwarding to Moissac and continuing from there as far as you can.

I hesitate to suggest a pilgrimage in the UK as, from my not vast experience, infrastructure is quite limited and what there is (mainly B&Bs) is quite expensive and breakfast can often chew quite a bit of the morning (which, in my view, is often the best part of the day for walking).

One I suggest is from Saint Mungo's Cathedral, Glasgow (or Paisley Abbey if you prefer) to Whithorn, the site of the first church in Scotland. It progresses down through Ayr to Girvan. From there I recommend a train or bus to Barrhill and continue from there. Here is a link to WayMarkedTrails for the first stages of this way. Scoll back to see more. This is just under 200 km when restarting at Barrhill and is intended to be a "practical" route and avoids walking on major "A" roads with there voluminous traffic and no shoulders. After Ayr the indicated route

A more modest pilgrimage in distance (but equally challenging at just on 100 km) is Saint Cuthbert's Way at this link. A fitting conclusion to this pilgrimage is to continue (by public/private transport) to the Shrine of Saint Cuthbert at Durham Cathedral. For the same admission (free) you can observe a silence at the black marble table tomb of the Venerable Bede and note the inscription around sides rhymes in the original Latin and also when translated to English.

If a pilgrimage to the martyrdom of Saint Thomas (a Becket) of Canterbury is closer to home then I suggest a start from Rochester Cathedral. From there down south-east towards Aylesford and along the so called Pilgrims Way for a few days before heading north-east towards Canterbury. The pilgrims/visitors centre is most welcoming and as a pilgrim those at the ticket gate will direct you there if you look like a pilgrim (back pack etc) without having to pay the entrance fee.

Also in that area is the Augustine Camino. This goes from Rochester, through Canterbury to Ramsgate for around 100 km. Here is the link.

I wish you happy planning. Kia ora (good health) - kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going when you can).

PS: I hear from my Galswegian family there is scuttlebutt talk of closing some border or other. ☺😂o_O:eek:🙃🙂
 
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Kazibar

New Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP to SDC Sept 2015, Baiona to SDC May 2017, SDC to Muxia Sept 2018, Few bits VdP Sept 2019
Thank you all for suggestions. I’m sitting with it today. I can’t walk more than 10k or so a day and climbing mountains is rather a no. I used to be very fit but cancer has taken that at least at the moment.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Past OR future Camino
yes...
Do you drive? We’re considering hiring a small camper van... we can walk 5km in the morning and walk back... move on and walk again in the afternoon.

we had a larger van but sold it as the kids are all grown now... but have seen we can hire one here in France... you can in Spain too. Could this be an option?

❤️
 

Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
10km or so a day does limit your choices rather, basically to the Frances, unless you are happy to use a support vehicle. Which would at least give you a way of leaving briskly if things went a bit wrong. Hmm. So many options. So, how does this sound? Walk in the country you are in, but with a destination in mind. Take turns to walk and drive with your friend, and then you can stay in youth hostels. Voilà!
 
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Tony Bobcat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2017
they’ve aldo changed travel advice back to advising against all but essential travel. Which means if I went I would have no travel insurance. Awful news for me. I have advanced cancer And was due to go to Spain for a month in few days. After that I’m back into chemo which may or may not work. Planning my trip has made me feel so alive. Now I’m just flattened. But I can’t risk it.,
Wishing you a speedy recovery
 

GBaker

New Member
Past OR future Camino
French
hello, such lovely suggestions but, are you considered extremely vulnerable due to your diagnosis/prognosis and if so then please be careful regarding NHS advice in conjunction with consultants advice. Don't know if you have been self isolating so far? good luck with the walk
 
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Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
My oncologist is encouraging me to go.
Sounds like you've got the medical profession on side, then. Enjoy the walk and remember that red wine is good for you.
 

Batatis

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2020 hopefully
Hi everyone, new UK member here. All the turmoil is making me consider postponing the camino and doing a multi week walk in the UK instead. I've read your wonderful suggestions of Scotland (AlwynWellington) and Wales (Maggie Y). I'm a bit worried about accommodation along the way - I guess it would be quite expensive for a solo traveler?

I don't plan on taking my phone - just my kindle. Walking, reading and connecting with fellow pilgrims is what I'm after. Since these British options aren't really pilgrimages, I wonder to what extent the connection aspect of the camino would be present.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
doing a multi week walk in the UK instead. I've read your wonderful suggestions of Scotland (AlwynWellington) and Wales (Maggie Y). I'm a bit worried about accommodation along the way - I guess it would be quite expensive for a solo traveler?
It all depends on your route. Take a look at yha.org.uk and see what you can plan. Originally they were intended to be no more than a day's walk apart in the more scenic areas. Of course our grandparents might have been more determined walkers.... 😏

While it's not as cheap as Spain, it's a lot better than hotel prices. Although there are pilgrimages in the UK. Walshingham and Canterbury spring to mind, but there are plenty of others.
And there is always the camping option.
 

Helen1

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
Hi Batatis,

When are you thinking of walking? I have a friend camping along the South West Coastal Path at the mo who is struggling with finding proper campsites that have space (apparently most of England seems to have gone to Cornwall). Reports from my family members in North Wales are that the tourist hot spots are packed, some of the really big campsites like Shell Island are not open this year putting pressure on other sites, almost everything hotel/b&b wise is booked and the locals are totally fed up with the visitors not respecting social distancing, leaving rubbish and excrement on the beaches and getting increasingly hostile towards visitors. I assume it will calm down when the schools go back in September!

To answer your questions, yes England is incredibly expensive for a solo traveller compared to Spain. Winchester has Canterbury does have cheaper pilgrim accommodation but you’ll need to check if it’s available this year. If you’ve not seen it https://britishpilgrimage.org/routes/ has many routes.

I think doing a multiday walk anywhere is special and a chance to escape/reflect/connect. On many of the famous long distance walks like the coast 2 coast, Hadrian’s wall and SWCP you’ll meet other walkers just like you would on the Camino (although their reasons for walking will be different) but I’m not so sure how easily you’ll find somewhere to stay this year if going in Aug. Sept will probably be easier.

Helen
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I don't plan on taking my phone -
I’d never thought I would say this but... take your phone, just keep it switched off. It can be useful in an emergency (I’m thinking fall or other accident). Speaking from experience here 🙄🙁😉
 
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Deleted member 76633

Guest
@Batatis

You don't say which part of the UK you are in, but I've done 3 routes in Southern England - North Downs to Canterbury, South Downs to Canterbury and the Old Way (from Southampton to Canterbury). Based on these, I would echo @Barbara 's comments about the YHA as being a suitable option and a key part of your plans. Accommodation is expensive.

As I have family contacts in the tourism business, I would also echo @Helen1 's comments about how busy places are. Holiday companies have gone from offering steep discounts to adding on substantial premiums as people are intent on having a holiday. For some companies, it will seem as Covid never happened.

If you are up North you might consider Northumberland and Holy Isle. Such as vast place there that no matter how many people go, it always seems empty.
 

Fossil

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del North (2018)
Here is the latest news from the UK for travellers to Spain: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-5354069...kHyuddetSZfn7ICFT80N_KyjA18ewNW70F6y-oMwLguI#. In summary, a 14 day quarantine will come into effect at midnight on 25 July for travellers from the UK returning from Spain. Not yet in place, but seems likely that Spain will follow suit for those returning to Spain from the UK.
I must admit, the quarantine may end up the deciding factor for me to stay home. I was due to travel mid Sept. and have a one way ferry ticket Plymouth-Santander (bought pre COVID). My plan was to play it by ear, take the time I needed, and plan my return journey while in Spain. Unfortunately, it is unlikely I could return the same way, as foot passengers are no longer being accepted. This means, I guess, that I would probably end up having to fly. At any rate, I will end up several hours journey away from home by public transport. I don't drive. The possibility of 2 weeks in a hotel in eg London, at my own expense could be the deal-breaker. Does anyone know anything about the govt. arranged accommodation for those unable to get home to quarantine? There is next to nothing on the govt. website.
 

Glenn R

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2020)
I must admit, the quarantine may end up the deciding factor for me to stay home. I was due to travel mid Sept. and have a one way ferry ticket Plymouth-Santander (bought pre COVID). My plan was to play it by ear, take the time I needed, and plan my return journey while in Spain. Unfortunately, it is unlikely I could return the same way, as foot passengers are no longer being accepted. This means, I guess, that I would probably end up having to fly. At any rate, I will end up several hours journey away from home by public transport. I don't drive. The possibility of 2 weeks in a hotel in eg London, at my own expense could be the deal-breaker. Does anyone know anything about the govt. arranged accommodation for those unable to get home to quarantine? There is next to nothing on the govt. website.

.

Pretty much explains the deal when returning to the UK. Sounds like we can just go straight home by whatever means necessary as long as we fill out some forms and be sensible about it. I'm aiming to fly to Biarritz in September and attempt the Camino Frances but from Biarritz to Finisterre. I plan to do so cautiously, accepting the risks and expecting the challenges that will inevitably lie ahead.
 

AlexB

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés
I completely agree with you. I'm going mid September to continue from Logroño and thinking to be as cautious as you can be and play it by ear. At the end of the day the virus it's not going anywhere and the vaccine is uncertain in the near future. So we need to learn to live with it.
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
.

Pretty much explains the deal when returning to the UK. Sounds like we can just go straight home by whatever means necessary as long as we fill out some forms and be sensible about it. I'm aiming to fly to Biarritz in September and attempt the Camino Frances but from Biarritz to Finisterre. I plan to do so cautiously, accepting the risks and expecting the challenges that will inevitably lie ahead.
Does that also mean you are prepared to accept the risk you might be to the elderly ( and not so elderly) Spanish people as you walk through their villages?
 
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Glenn R

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2020)
Does that also mean you are prepared to accept the risk you might be to the elderly ( and not so elderly) Spanish people as you walk through their villages?

Absolutely. Wherever I go in the world, i'm putting the elderly at risk. I could be just as dangerous to an elderly worker at the shop down the road. Similarly, I put my elderly friends at risk when I go round their house for a cuppa, which I've done, and which they have welcomed. There must come a point where we to decide to live our lives in fear, or to simply live our lives, together.

The world has never been a risk free environment and life is risk on a daily basis. That being said, I would never want to endanger the life of anyone if I could help it, hence the use of precaution. If that means bypassing whole communities and sleeping in a hedge, then so be it.
 
Past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I’d never thought I would say this but... take your phone, just keep it switched off. It can be useful in an emergency (I’m thinking fall or other accident). Speaking from experience here 🙄🙁😉

Sound advice! I had to be dragooned into carrying one back in '04 for that very reason! I have a balance problem plus Meniere's disease and falling is a way of life :) Now of course, I cant do with out it for route apps and weather and booking .com too! :)

Stay safe.

Samarkand.
 

Bristle Boy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Absolutely. Wherever I go in the world, i'm putting the elderly at risk. I could be just as dangerous to an elderly worker at the shop down the road. Similarly, I put my elderly friends at risk when I go round their house for a cuppa, which I've done, and which they have welcomed. There must come a point where we to decide to live our lives in fear, or to simply live our lives, together.

The world has never been a risk free environment and life is risk on a daily basis. That being said, I would never want to endanger the life of anyone if I could help it, hence the use of precaution. If that means bypassing whole communities and sleeping in a hedge, then so be it.
I don't live my life in fear. I also live my life (together) with others....whether that be domestically, locally or globally.
I also like to think I live my life responsibly...and make my decisions accordingly.
 
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AlexB

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés
Absolutely, wherever we go, we have the responsibility toward the people around us, so we must respect all the normative and rules in place and keep social distancing. This not only applies to the Camino but also any trails or just in our community.

I will be walking through small villages around people that live out of the Camino, people that make this experience possible. The Camino mainly cross the countryside and the biggest risk are in the cities or villages. I'm expecting an experience completely different this time. Less social and more a solo hike because a lower number of pilgrims.

Although, I'm closely monitoring the Covid situation in Spain and if the infection rate keep increasing, of course, the sensible thing to do is to postpone until next year at least.
 

Bristle Boy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Those stubborn Pilgrims haven't changed for hundreds of years :rolleyes:

The medieval pilgrimage routes, key to the spread of the...
There are many factors to be taken into consideration that have made this pandemic different than in years gone by.
Our increased connectivity with the world around us with global air travel. A different commercial world that requires a greater mobility of labour.
There are so many questions that I have no answers to...but I think about them just the same.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
x
I was due to travel mid Sept. and have a one way ferry ticket Plymouth-Santander (bought pre COVID). My plan was to play it by ear, take the time I needed, and plan my return journey while in Spain. Unfortunately, it is unlikely I could return the same way, as foot passengers are no longer being accepted.

Not sure when you last checked this but today it seems to be possible to book as a foot passenger with Brittany Ferries for Santander - Plymouth in mid-October. The service is on Mondays, departure 1515, arrival 1445 next day (at least for 19 October).
 
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