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February 2021

brightblu

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
Dear Pilgrims,

I haven't been on the forum for a few years, great to see that it is thriving and brimming with lots of new information and resources, thank you :)
I have completed in full three Camino's, each one having, or starting out with having it's very own reason and each one delivering a very different gift than was expected, lesson don't project or have any expectations :)
I find myself needing to go again, and again there is a reason, please don't berate me if this has been discussed (probably lots)
BUT...what are the implications of starting this Feb, ah I am in the UK.. (knowing what we know, not what we don't) currently are there restrictions moving between towns, what do we know about which Albergues are currently open?
Anyone else planning on setting off in Feb?
Is it doable and what should I be aware of?
Peace and Love
Blu x
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Dear Pilgrims,

I haven't been on the forum for a few years, great to see that it is thriving and brimming with lots of new information and resources, thank you :)
I have completed in full three Camino's, each one having, or starting out with having it's very own reason and each one delivering a very different gift than was expected, lesson don't project or have any expectations :)
I find myself needing to go again, and again there is a reason, please don't berate me if this has been discussed (probably lots)
BUT...what are the implications of starting this Feb, ah I am in the UK.. (knowing what we know, not what we don't) currently are there restrictions moving between towns, what do we know about which Albergues are currently open?
Anyone else planning on setting off in Feb?
Is it doable and what should I be aware of?
Peace and Love
Blu x
Blu

best of luck, but if you’re currently in the UK and in Tier 4, like the majority of us; you’re not allowed out of the country.

I’m not a betting man, but if I were I wouldn’t be staking my life savings on the situation easing before April ‘21.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
if you’re currently in the UK and in Tier 4, like the majority of us; you’re not allowed out of the country.
And if you're currently in the UK you are not allowed into the country either: as things stand at the moment, France will review their general travel ban for travellers coming from the UK (exceptions apply for some but not many) on 6 January, Spain on 31 January, Portugal on 15 January, and the EU will review their recommendation on entry bans for all non-EUers sometime in early January, usually on a Wednesday. Their entry ban recommendation has been followed by France, Spain and Portugal in every instance so far. I guess you all know that you are currently in the same boat as those from AUS, NZ, CAN and USA. You are fully-fledged TCNs now. 🤓

currently are there restrictions moving between towns, what do we know about which Albergues are currently open? Anyone else planning on setting off in Feb? Is it doable and what should I be aware of?
There are currently restrictions on movements in Spain, consult official government websites or a website with information for expats in Spain such as thelocal.es which is published in English and usually up to date. Some albergues are open and others aren't, consult gronze.com. Don't expect much first hand knowledge about the current situation, only 99 pilgrims got a Compostela in December 2020.

Is it doable in February 2021? Most likely. It was doable for most of the year 2020, too.

Is it advisable in February 2021? I've never voiced my opinion publicly in 2020 and I won't do it in 2021.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese coastal (2021)
In everyday life I am always the eternal optimist!!
However at the moment it is a struggle to know what will happen in the next few months and that's the same for everyone !
Hope for the best(hang onto that) ;but be prepared for the worst especially now when it comes down to travel from your own country.
Life is changing now at a pace that's hard to keep up with;but the World will heal itself in time.
Let's just hope we are still here to enjoy it;i think that trumps every future plan there is!
Woody
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Galicia!
Dear Pilgrims,

I haven't been on the forum for a few years, great to see that it is thriving and brimming with lots of new information and resources, thank you :)
I have completed in full three Camino's, each one having, or starting out with having it's very own reason and each one delivering a very different gift than was expected, lesson don't project or have any expectations :)
I find myself needing to go again, and again there is a reason, please don't berate me if this has been discussed (probably lots)
BUT...what are the implications of starting this Feb, ah I am in the UK.. (knowing what we know, not what we don't) currently are there restrictions moving between towns, what do we know about which Albergues are currently open?
Anyone else planning on setting off in Feb?
Is it doable and what should I be aware of?
Peace and Love
Blu x
You might have missed this (up above) ;)

1609771568247.png
 

Chef66

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Now
I think February 2021 is probably too optimistic at moment. A combination of travel bans ex UK due tier system, Spain not admitting travellers from the UK, and varying restrictions across Spain make it so. Whilst there is regular reviews for all three, be amazed if they free us up to move forward!!
 

Marbe2

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

I haven't been on the forum for a few years, great to see that it is thriving and brimming with lots of new information and resources, thank you :)
I have completed in full three Camino's, each one having, or starting out with having it's very own reason and each one delivering a very different gift than was expected, lesson don't project or have any expectations :)
I find myself needing to go again, and again there is a reason, please don't berate me if this has been discussed (probably lots)
BUT...what are the implications of starting this Feb, ah I am in the UK.. (knowing what we know, not what we don't) currently are there restrictions moving between towns, what do we know about which Albergues are currently open?
Anyone else planning on setting off in Feb?
Is it doable and what should I be aware of?
Peace and Love
Blu x

I am glad you have returned to the forum, brightblu. Realistically, the chances of Spain opening up to international travelers from the UK, or US are probably minuscule. We now have a new variant of the virus, that will spread more rapidly, while simultaneously vaccinations are off to a slow start in a number of countries, including Spain. I am hoping to walk in September and am wondeing if that will be possible.

 
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Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I think without the benefit of a crystal ball the question is without answer.
The restrictions on travel to other countries has been ongoing all year.
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
I have completed in full three Camino's ...

I find myself needing to go again ...

BUT...what are the implications of starting this Feb (2021)

@brightblu, with advice from my London based family and from your Government for England this is what they say:

"If you live in a Tier 4 area, you must follow the rules below. This means that you cannot leave or be outside of the place you are living unless you have a reasonable excuse. You cannot meet other people indoors, including over the Christmas and New Year period, unless you live with them, or they are part of your support bubble. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household."

From my perspective, this is quite a relaxed set of rules.

For Sport and physical activity in Tier 4, your Government says:

"Indoor gyms and sports facilities will close. Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges, riding arenas and playgrounds can remain open for individual exercise, and for people to use with others within your household, support bubble, or with one person from another household. Organised outdoor sport for under 18s and disabled people is allowed."

In my experience this is also quite relaxed set of rules.

The tenor running through this, as I read it, is stay at home other than for the few exceptions listed.

For the live of me, and you, I cannot see an escape clause saying it is OK to travel the length and breadth of Europe.

That's the bad news, as I see it.

The good news, I suggest, is to to look at British Pilgrimage routes for routes that comply with your English rules at this and future times. Or you might care to make your own local pilgrimage routes that comply with the rules and which have meaning for you.

As Her Majesty said in April 2020, kia kaha, kia māia, kia mana'wa'nui (be strong, confident and patient) and get going when the rules and common sense permit.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
@brightblu, I appreciate you might think I am being insufferably cruel in my reply to you question.

Talk of "flattening the curve" may help the hospital system. But possibly not the health of those, like me, identified as being in an "at risk" category.

My objective is to be able to safely visit my London family, complete as many as I can of the 1,001 pilgrimages I have identified in England, Scotland and Wales, complete my pilgrimage from Canterbury Cathedral to the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome and visit extended family in Ontario.

Towards the end 2019 I was all booked to return to the latter and then to do as much of the former as three months would allow before heading to Canada.

So flattening the curve is a step in the right direction. But elimination seems to be the technical consensus of what is needed. Vaccines may be step towards that: at present the jury still seems to be out on how quickly they will give the desired result.

I suspect "many a new day will dawn before I", and many others, will be able to travel as near freely as we had become accustomed. The consensus amongst my friends and relations is not before 2022.

I say to you, kia kaha (take care, be strong)
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I doubt that things will open up again before March at the earliest.
 
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what are the implications of starting this Feb, ah I am in the UK.. (knowing what we know, not what we don't)
@brightblu, I hope you don't get too discouraged by the comments in this thread. I see that you are based in East Sussex so you probably know more than enough about the current situation in England and whether or not and when, or if at all, you can get "out".

As to getting "in", which is the other side of the equation, Spain has currently a double lock that bars the majority of potential pilgrims from entry into Spain:
  • The UK is not on Spain's list of "epidemiologically safe countries". With very few exceptions, people who live in the UK are not allowed in at entry points in Spanish airports and seaports. This ban lasts until 31 January 2021. It can be prolonged (or shortened) at any time.
    (Orden INT/1278/2020 de 29 de diciembre)
  • Spain allows direct ferry connections and direct flights between the UK and Spain under the condition that they carry only passengers who are nationals of Spain or Andorra or residents in Spain or Andorra and who have the documents to prove it at the gate before boarding. This ban lasts until 19 January 2021.
    (Orden PCM/1295/2020 de 30 de diciembre)
That's what we know. We know nothing yet about February 2021.
 
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Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
A friend is on the Camino Interior Portuguese at the moment nearing Chaves. Verin is one of the hotspots in Galicia, which normally he would have to go through to get to Santiago, he doesn't know what is going to happen in the next few days, the situation is fluid and constantly changing. I doubt anyone on here could predict what the exact situation might be in February, there might be a few more twists and turns ahead. Another consideration is even if Spain does open up I doubt it will be to non EU citizens so that is just as important for us to consider in the UK. I changed my travel date from 25 March to 5th June, I still feel that is going to be touch and go. I will probably get vacinated in the next few weeks but it is the change in the timings of the 2nd dose and the time after it for it to be effective that might derail, my entry into Spain, who knows?
I think February is being too optimistic, but good luck to you if you do it.

Buen Camino
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Year of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
planning for a quich dash south in the spring has now effectively proved too much of a russian roulette.
one would risk the lives of others as well as being at risk yourself...
it is plain to see that the new potent version is simply too powerful..vaccination or no...
sorry...
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
To address your question which a previous answer doesn't, and, as you specifically asked about February, you are unable to visit Spain due to the United Kingdom lockdown. This remains in force until 15th February 2021.
The tier 5 lockdown lockdown rules are attached.
This we do know.
As for the remainder of the month this will depend on the restrictions that apply for the remainder of February.

BBC News - Covid: What are England's new lockdown rules?
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Quite apart from difficulties in travelling in the UK and from the UK to Spain, the other question is that Spain's current state of alarm has been declared until March, so that even if travel UK to France were possible, for a start in SJPP or elsewhere, February regional lockdowns remain very possible in Spain thereby preventing pilgrimages even if you succeed in getting there.
 

mark stevens

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Agreed. It will be what it will be, dependant on the pandemic and regulations. Im hoping for late May but doubt that may happen. Buen Camino. Keep your dreams alive....
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
I doubt that things will open up again before March at the earliest.

March 2022 I assume. It is always good to have a sufficient safety Margin, whether it is your health or the public health of the areas you hope to pass through.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I notice that @brightblu hasn't come back yet. With a hopeful view to the future, I am posting two links that may be useful for non-EUers. I'm pleasantly surprised by the solid information that these two websites provide.

The first one is https://www.schengenvisainfo.com. This is not an official government website but it is also not a commercial website/scam website in the sense that they do not ask payment for their services as far as I can tell. Check in particular their section "Schengen News" and then the tabs "Latest" and "Policy" with good practical advice and information. In English. The "Policy" tab has a new article about the situation concerning potential penalties for overstaying.

The other website is https://www.connexionfrance.com. This is a website for British expats in France, well-informed and up to date as far as I can tell. While primarily aimed at British residents in France, they also cover issues for British and other non-EU visitors to France. In English.

For future reference. ☺️
 
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brightblu

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
I notice that @brightblu hasn't come back yet. With a hopeful view to the future, I am posting two links that may be useful for non-EUers. I'm pleasantly surprised by the solid information that these two websites provide.

The first one is https://www.schengenvisainfo.com. This is not an official government website but it is also not a commercial website/scam website in the sense that they do not ask payment for their services as far as I can tell. Check in particular their section "Schengen News" and then the tabs "Latest" and "Policy" with good practical advice and information. In English. The "Policy" tab has a new article about the situation concerning potential penalties for overstaying.

The other website is https://www.connexionfrance.com. This is a website for British expats in France, well-informed and up to date as far as I can tell. While primarily aimed at British residents in France, they also cover issues for British and other non-EU visitors to France. In English.

For future reference. ☺️
Hey,
Thanks so much to everyone for their replies, comments, feedback and guidance, Clearly my initial question was prior to the new lockdown and consequently February plans are now impossible, if they weren’t already, like some have jested maybe 2022 is more realistic.
God bless everyone and stay happy.
Peace and light
Boy
 

brightblu

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
Hey,
Thanks so much to everyone for their replies, comments, feedback and guidance, Clearly my initial question was prior to the new lockdown and consequently February plans are now impossible, if they weren’t already, like some have jested maybe 2022 is more realistic.
God bless everyone and stay happy.
Peace and light
Boy
*blu
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
Dear Pilgrims,

I haven't been on the forum for a few years, great to see that it is thriving and brimming with lots of new information and resources, thank you :)
I have completed in full three Camino's, each one having, or starting out with having it's very own reason and each one delivering a very different gift than was expected, lesson don't project or have any expectations :)
I find myself needing to go again, and again there is a reason, please don't berate me if this has been discussed (probably lots)
BUT...what are the implications of starting this Feb, ah I am in the UK.. (knowing what we know, not what we don't) currently are there restrictions moving between towns, what do we know about which Albergues are currently open?
Anyone else planning on setting off in Feb?
Is it doable and what should I be aware of?
Peace and Love
Blu x
I,m sorry but it is crazy to think about starting a Camino in February. I live in Spain not very far from the route of the Via de La Plata and at the moment things are still closed down and it is worse in the north. June 2021 would seem to be the earliest that Caminos can be started.
 

Mike Wells

author of 'Cycling the Camino Frances'
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (1995) (2017 twice) (2018); Via de la Plata (1996); Finisterre (2018)
I am a traveller, I make my living from the travel trade by writing guidebooks and escorting worldwide tours. So anything that restricts worldwide travel is anathema to me. Or at least it was until I contracted covid in December (my own fault, I attended a football match during the two weeks when restrictions were lifted and caught it there). I was very ill over Christmas, but am now recovering. However it has changed my attitude to travel during the current pandemic. A road to Damascus moment if you like.

Looking through the replies to the original question, which was 'is it doable to start the Camino Frances in February?', I see that, unsurprisingly, many concentrated on the practicality of the venture.

To me the important question is not the practical one, rather it is a moral one, 'should I consider being a vector that has the potential to spread a killer virus?' Put like that there can only be one answer, NO don't go, don't even consider it. Not until the governments of the countries you plan to visit (France and Spain I presume) have given a final and complete all clear for travel. No one knows when this will be and planning ahead is impossible, but I would say don't expect it to be in 2021. There was a massive rise in cases in both France and Spain in October, which declined in November but the trend in both countries is now rising again worryingly and the daily new infections rate in Spain is now double that of early December. It is highly likely that the new strain of covid sweeping through Britain is taking hold across Europe and will surpass the previous peaks of March and October. Britain is ahead of the curve with vaccinations which are expected to reach 2million/week by the end of January. Even so the British government talk of maintaining the current national lockdown until the end of March, followed by a slow lifting of restrictions.

I have been horrified over recent months reading the travellers' tales of people on this forum who have made the Camino journey during spring, summer and autumn of 2020. They write about their heroic achievements in succeeding against all odds of reaching Santiago. How they negotiated the blockade in León or found an out-of-the-way albergue willing to put them up. And I see posts by people from North America trying to find ways around the inter-continental travel restrictions. These people are neither heroes nor adventurers, they are selfish fools. No amount of personal spiritual satisfaction gained from completing the Camino can compensate for the morally indefensible trail of potential disease left in their wake!

DON'T GO!
 
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Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I am a traveller, I make my living from the travel trade by writing guidebooks and escorting worldwide tours. So anything that restricts worldwide travel is anathema to me. Or at least it was until I contracted covid in December. (My own fault, I attended a football match during the two weeks when restrictions were lifted and caught it there). I was very ill over Christmas, but am now recovering. However it has changed my attitude to travel during the current pandemic. A road to Damascus moment if you like.

Looking through the replies to the original question, which was 'is it doable to start the Camino Frances in February?', I see that unsurprisingly most of the answers concentrated on the practicality of the venture.

To me the important question is not the practical one, rather it is a moral one, 'should I consider being a vector that has the potential to spread a killer virus?' Put like that there can only be one answer, NO don't go, don't even consider it. Not until the governments of the countries you plan to visit (France and Spain I presume) have given a final and complete all clear for travel. No one knows when this will be and planning ahead is impossible, but I would say don't expect it to be in 2021. There was a massive rise in cases in both France and Spain in October, which declined in November but the trend in both countries is now rising again worryingly and the daily new infections rate in Spain is now double that of early December. It is highly likely that the new strain of covid sweeping through Britain is taking hold across Europe and will surpass the previous peaks of March and October. Britain is ahead of the curve with vaccinations which are expected to reach 2million/week by the end January. Even so the British government talk of maintaining the current national lockdown until the end of March, followed by a slow lifting of restrictions.

I have been horrified over recent months reading the travellers' tales of people on this forum who have made the Camino journey during spring, summer and autumn of 2020. They write about their heroic achievements in succeeding against all odds of reaching Santiago. How they negotiated the blockade in León or found an out-of-the-way albergue willing to put them up. And I see posts by people from America and Canada trying to find ways around the trans-continental travel restrictions. These people are not heroes or adventurers, they are selfish fools. No amount of personal spiritual pleasure gained from completing the Camino can compensate for the morally outrageous trail of potential disease left in their wake!

DON'T GO!
I think the majority of posters administered a dose of reality (and responsibility) on the OP.
Thank you for your erudite and first hand experience of the pandemic.
There is too much raising of unrealistic and premature encouragement by some members that fosters the view that the Camino is the most important thing in life...
The truthful answer to why you cannot travel from the UK, or anywhere for that matter, is not down to restrictions...it is simply that you shouldn't/must not due to a global pandemic.
 
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brightblu

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
administered a dose of reality (and responsibility) Jesus! This is a forum right? My original question asked what are the implications? Never did I say I’m setting off, I’m going! It was simply an opportunity to find out what as I said what are the practicalities, is it possible?
I appreciate all the feedback but just be careful how you ‘administer’ it people are allowed to ask questions and remember the original question was prior to the new LD!
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
administered a dose of reality (and responsibility) Jesus! This is a forum right? My original question asked what are the implications? Never did I say I’m setting off, I’m going! It was simply an opportunity to find out what as I said what are the practicalities, is it possible?
I appreciate all the feedback but just be careful how you ‘administer’ it people are allowed to ask questions and remember the original question was prior to the new LD!

FWIW I do believe your original post is genuine and not out of proportion at all.
Answers seem to vary here from a more emotional way to a more practical and matter-of-fact way.
I hope the official channels in your country and the spanish ones can give you enough objective information to make a good and safe decision.
Buen Camino @brightblu
 

Old Kiwi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2016
Camino Frances 2019
SdC to Muxia and Fisterra 2019
Camino Portuguese "2021"
I am as keen as anybody to get back on the Camino, but I won't go until everyone has had the vaccination so that the chances of getting Covid are drastically reduced. I missed out last year like lots of others and I am hoping to go in June, but if the conditions are not right I will just have to postpone until 2022 (God forbid). I do think that I am probably being a little optimistic in aiming for June, but at least I think that I have a better chance of getting into Spain and doing a Camino safely considering that I will be coming from a country that is virtually free of Covid. The chances of either the Americans or the British of getting into Spain this year have got to be extremely remote. If there is a chance of your either picking up or spreading Covid during a Camino if you go this year, then don't go, stay home. It is like the quote "This too will come to pass", but probably not as quickly as we would like.
 

Cicada

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances St Jean -Santiago April -June 2017
Portugues September 2018
Dear Pilgrims,

I haven't been on the forum for a few years, great to see that it is thriving and brimming with lots of new information and resources, thank you :)
I have completed in full three Camino's, each one having, or starting out with having it's very own reason and each one delivering a very different gift than was expected, lesson don't project or have any expectations :)
I find myself needing to go again, and again there is a reason, please don't berate me if this has been discussed (probably lots)
BUT...what are the implications of starting this Feb, ah I am in the UK.. (knowing what we know, not what we don't) currently are there restrictions moving between towns, what do we know about which Albergues are currently open?
Anyone else planning on setting off in Feb?
Is it doable and what should I be aware of?
Peace and Love
Blu x
I don't think so!
 

Nev Sheather

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walking now (2017)
I am a traveller, I make my living from the travel trade by writing guidebooks and escorting worldwide tours. So anything that restricts worldwide travel is anathema to me. Or at least it was until I contracted covid in December (my own fault, I attended a football match during the two weeks when restrictions were lifted and caught it there). I was very ill over Christmas, but am now recovering. However it has changed my attitude to travel during the current pandemic. A road to Damascus moment if you like.

Looking through the replies to the original question, which was 'is it doable to start the Camino Frances in February?', I see that, unsurprisingly, many concentrated on the practicality of the venture.

To me the important question is not the practical one, rather it is a moral one, 'should I consider being a vector that has the potential to spread a killer virus?' Put like that there can only be one answer, NO don't go, don't even consider it. Not until the governments of the countries you plan to visit (France and Spain I presume) have given a final and complete all clear for travel. No one knows when this will be and planning ahead is impossible, but I would say don't expect it to be in 2021. There was a massive rise in cases in both France and Spain in October, which declined in November but the trend in both countries is now rising again worryingly and the daily new infections rate in Spain is now double that of early December. It is highly likely that the new strain of covid sweeping through Britain is taking hold across Europe and will surpass the previous peaks of March and October. Britain is ahead of the curve with vaccinations which are expected to reach 2million/week by the end of January. Even so the British government talk of maintaining the current national lockdown until the end of March, followed by a slow lifting of restrictions.

I have been horrified over recent months reading the travellers' tales of people on this forum who have made the Camino journey during spring, summer and autumn of 2020. They write about their heroic achievements in succeeding against all odds of reaching Santiago. How they negotiated the blockade in León or found an out-of-the-way albergue willing to put them up. And I see posts by people from North America trying to find ways around the inter-continental travel restrictions. These people are neither heroes nor adventurers, they are selfish fools. No amount of personal spiritual satisfaction gained from completing the Camino can compensate for the morally indefensible trail of potential disease left in their wake!

DON'T GO!
well said! Easy to agree from Australia, as we are not allowed to travel, but would not walk now anyway.
 
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