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COVID Lockdowns

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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England will end its full lockdown on December 2nd.

France, much like Catalonia, will stagger its end of lockdown measures -- there will be a first relaxation on December 1st ; another before Christmas ; and a third in January.
 
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LesBrass

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yes...
President Marcon tonight announced an extension of the lockdown in France BUT we can now walk for up to 3 hours each day and up to 20km from home... and I plan to explore as much of those kilometres as possible!

When @Sara_Dhooma was here she suggested that I walk each of the variants of the Vezeley route from Perigueux and create a mini booklets for other pilgrims who might be walking this way... my 20kms will let me cover a fair bit of those routes so from next week my walking shoes will be off for an outing each day! The weather is absolutely glorious at the moment here in SW France and I cannot wait to get going!
 

JabbaPapa

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A slight relaxation is occurring in France, on November 28th not December 1st.

Even though in a few places, people have just been ignoring personal lockdown rules, these have been extended to three hours outside and up to 20K from home.

Small businesses are to reopen, as are the churches. Not bars or restaurants.

End of lockdown, but with continuation of the current 9PM curfew (with the exceptions of Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, no curfew those 2 nights), is to happen on December 15th. Cinemas, Museums, Theatres will also reopen on that date, but not bars or restaurants.

A further relaxation is planned for January 20th.
 

JabbaPapa

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Catalonia's regional borders remain closed -- but some easing of restrictions to travel within the region is planned for December 7th. From the 21st weekend travel throughout the region will be allowed, which will presumably include Christmas and New Year.

A further relaxation of lockdown is planned for January 4th.
The relaxation planned for December 7th has been cancelled.

Spain is generally allowing people to traverse lockdown to visit family and close friends over the Christmas & New Year period, but Catalonia seeks more restrictive measures in the Province, including for Christmas and New Year.

It is, as one might expect, widely anticipated that the holiday restrictions increased for the period from 6 to 10 persons in private gatherings are liable to be frequently ignored and frequently unenforced by local Police.
 

JabbaPapa

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Travel between regions in France is possible again from tomorrow, 15th December.

You can also travel from France to Spain, however once there you would be subjected to the various curfews and regional lockdowns.
 
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Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
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JabbaPapa

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Italy is instituting a "festive lockdown" between 24th December and 6th January.
 

JabbaPapa

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The English section of the Via Francigena is closed from governmental prohibition of travel in the South-East of England.
 

JabbaPapa

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Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy have stopped flights to the UK. Belgium has also banned rail travel (Covid, not Brexit).

Ireland (!!), France, and Germany are considering similar measures.
 
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I've been trying to keep track of the countries who decided to stop mutant ninja virus from coming but it is impossible task. I'm giving up. After all, for the Camino de Santiago forum, the most important are the regulations of Spain and to some level Portugal and France. And they are still 'work in progress'.
 
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Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
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JabbaPapa

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Ireland (!!), France, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany and Sweden have now also all banned travel from the UK. The port of Dover has been closed to all traffic, except incoming freight. Freight is allowed into France from the UK, but not the lorry/truck drivers. Portugal has banned all incoming air passengers from the UK except Portuguese nationals and residents.

The EU is considering a general lockout of the UK.
 
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Bristle Boy

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Or perhaps the "penny has finally dropped". I wonder why the actions taken now were not adopted six or nine months ago if the objectives are to stop the spread of this mutation. If that be the case why wasn't it adopted to stop the virus in its early stages.
The virus hasn't just mutated in the UK...this is what viruses do.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Bristle Boy

Active Member
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2022
UK travel ban: Spain strengthens controls on UK arrivals amid fears of mutant coronavirus strain | Society | EL PAÍS in English (elpais.com)

The Spanish government has ruled out for now cancelling flights from the United Kingdom ... and instead called for a joint response from the European Union. While it awaits this response, the government announced that controls at airports and ports will be strengthened to ensure that all arrivals from the UK have a negative coronavirus test result.
At last!....I can hear the sound of pennies hitting floor.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Bristle Boy

Active Member
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2022

JabbaPapa

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Spain has now followed suit by banning travellers from the UK except Spanish nationals and residents.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
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2021
Why are we trying to keep track of all the shutdowns, which change day-to-day? 😷 Isn't it enough to know that the shutdowns are very extensive and very dynamic, and if you MUST travel to Spain or any other part of the Camino, then you should find an official source for the exact locations, study it carefully, and recognize that it may still be different when you arrive at the border.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Spain has now followed suit by banning travellers from the UK except Spanish nationals and residents.
The measures adopted by Spain and Portugal are those that the EU seems to want generalised, rather than the total travel bans that some countries instituted.

In any case, the new measures in France are that travel is open with the UK for freight and for French nationals and residents of France & other EU countries (which would include UK and other non-EU nationals resident in those places) after a negative Covid test, which is close to what Spain had decided -- except that there are also general travel bans in much of the UK "apart from limited exceptions, such as work purposes" (UK government information), so virtually no travel involving the UK except for people returning home or for work purposes etc.

So not much good news at all for pilgrims, though it might be well to repeat that the French routes or French sections of the major routes have become feasible again since December 15th for those able to travel to France, bearing in mind the 8PM-6AM curfew and that all bars are closed and only takeaway restaurants are functioning -- it's probably the only European country where a longer Camino of some sort is presently possible again, as the situation in Italy is overly touch-and-go.

Whilst Italy is in regional lockdown 'til January 6th included, the situation in the locked-down regions such a Lombardy and Piemonte (including a long section of the Francigena) seems to be improving with some restrictions relaxed (outside of the Christmas season national lockdown), but local lockdowns could still pop up anywhere in Italy overnight like toadstools.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
In practical terms, did anyone in the UK get a COVID-19 test in recent days to be able to travel to a country on the Continent?

Apparently, you cannot get a PCR test for free from the NHS unless you have already COVID-19 symptoms (which means you mustn’t travel anyway) and you may have to go to a private provider with prices starting from £120 upwards for Covid-19 PCR tests when you want to travel abroad. Did you manage to even get an appointment at short notice now, a few days before Christmas? What a mess it is for people who are actually caught up in these very sudden changes ...
 
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Kathar1na

Member
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If you really need to go on pilgrimage in the next few days and travel by train from England to France, you will get up to date information from Eurostar anyway. Their website is accurate and more informative than news articles and gets updated as quickly as new government information becomes available. Websites of your air carrier may be similarly well managed, I don’t know as I didn’t bother to check.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
In practical terms, did anyone in the UK get a COVID-19 test in recent days to be able to travel to a country on the Continent?

Apparently, you cannot get a PCR test for free from the NHS unless you have already COVID-19 symptoms (which means you mustn’t travel anyway) and you have to go to a private provider with prices starting from £120 upwards for Covid-19 PCR tests. Did you manage to even get an appointment at short notice now, a few days before Christmas? What a mess it is for people who are actually caught up in these very sudden changes ...
It does seem to be a bit confusing for me
A neighbour went for a test last night without any appointment. When she tried online there weren't any available appointments so she just went to the centre and queued up for about 10 minutes and got tested .she just had to fill in a form online saying she HAD symptoms....a runny nose!!!
She told me that a number of people are doing this and that there are a few testing sites like this
I don't know about the rest of the country
So it seems to me that even if one just SAYS they have symptoms on line perhaps just to "check" ...then a test is available and the results given within 48 hours
Personally I could see that such a system could be open to abuse/fraud!!
 
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Kathar1na

Member
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It does seem to be a bit confusing for me
A neighbour went for a test last night without any appointment. When she tried online there weren't any available appointments so she just went to the centre and queued up for about 10 minutes and got tested .she just had to fill in a form online saying she HAD symptoms....a runny nose!!!
She told me that a number of people are doing this and that there are a few testing sites like this
I don't know about the rest of the country
So it seems to me that even if one just SAYS they have symptoms on line perhaps just to "check" ...then a test is available and the results given within 48 hours
Personally I could see that such a system could be open to abuse/fraud!!
Thanks, Annette, it’s interesting to hear how things actually play out! I agree with you that such a system could be open to misuse. Not terrible misuse but misuse nevertheless. It simply didn’t occur to me that one could do this ...
 
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Kathar1na

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It's really happening (provided I understand it correctly):

It will take effect on 00:00 hours on 1 January 2021 and, for the time being, it will be in effect hasta las 24:00 horas del 31 de enero de 2021.

Goodbye my friends, you who will become third-country nationals within less than 24 hours. 🤗😥
 
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It's really happening (provided I understand it correctly):

It will take effect on 00:00 hours on 1 January 2021 and, for the time being, it will be in effect hasta las 24:00 horas del 31 de enero de 2021.

Goodbye my friends, you who will become third-country nationals within less than 24 hours. 🤗😥

It is just a [temporary] rewriting off the rules and we now have a different label. And any look at history shows that rules are re-written often but not often sensibly.

Pilgrims will follow their hearts irrespective of the labels we are given by the rule writers as they have always done over millennia.
 

JabbaPapa

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It's really happening (provided I understand it correctly):

It will take effect on 00:00 hours on 1 January 2021 and, for the time being, it will be in effect hasta las 24:00 horas del 31 de enero de 2021.

Goodbye my friends, you who will become third-country nationals within less than 24 hours. 🤗😥
Well, those are the Spanish measures, though it's worth remembering that they do vary from one Member State to the next.

What the EU Commission has recommended is that the UK (starting midnight tonight) should temporarily be reclassified as an "epidemiologically unsafe" third country, therefore restricting non-essential travel from the UK into the Schengen Area of EU States.

Not that such non-essential travel is generally possible in the UK anyway due to the new, very extensive "tier 4" lockdown restrictions in much of the country ...
 

Kathar1na

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It is just a [temporary] rewriting of the rules and we now have a different label
The reality of it all just hit me (again) when I saw this in black and white and in Spanish legalese. If I had known several decades ago that this would happen one day I would have made a few different life choices for myself and one or two others. But I belong to a tiny unimportant minority, of course.

And as to this Spanish law, it's temporary, as you said, and in the end it doesn't matter why exactly some pilgrims will not be allowed at all into Spain during all of January. It's probably not even necessary to post it here. Airline employees will tell them at the gate I guess if they hadn't heard of it any earlier. ☺️
 
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JabbaPapa

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O/T : Gibraltar shall be one of the non-EU micro-territories belonging to the Schengen Area, with a status similar to those of the Principality of Monaco and Vatican City.

Full freedom of movement is maintained between Gibraltar and the EU, so that its status as a good starting point for the Via de la Plata shall not change in the slightest (which there was a risk of).
 

JabbaPapa

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This seems not to be an EU-wide thing, nevertheless :

"The Portuguese government has announced that from January 1 2021, travel by UK nationals to Portugal, including Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores, will not be permitted, except for essential purposes, such as to enable you to reunite with your family, or for professional, educational, health or humanitarian reasons.

This restriction does not apply to UK nationals who are legally resident in Portugal or any other EU member state.
"
 

Kathar1na

Member
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O/T : Gibraltar shall be one of the non-EU micro-territories belonging to the Schengen Area, with a status similar to those of the Principality of Monaco and Vatican City.

Full freedom of movement is maintained between Gibraltar and the EU, so that its status as a good starting point for the Via de la Plata shall not change in the slightest (which there was a risk of).
Nobody has seen the draft mini-treaty concerning Gibraltar yet, at least not the humble citizens. Politico writes:

This means British citizens will need to go through a Schengen border post to enter Gibraltar through its airport and seaport. During a four-year transition, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, called Frontex, will patrol both access points.

This was what they had been haggling about the whole time: where to place the border crossing line and whose uniforms will be worn at the border crossing. :rolleyes:

Of course, not a lot of prospective camino pilgrims and other leisure travellers will be going through the Schengen border post at the Gibraltar airport and the Gibraltar port and will need to pull out their passports for inspection until the 1st of February 2021 at best ...
 
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Kathar1na

Member
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
is seems not to be an EU-wide thing, nevertheless :
One thing I've learnt in 2020: it's always best to check the official journals, ie the official publication where laws, (royal) decrees, ordinances, and official notices or whatever they are called in the various countries are published, when you want to know exactly who is allowed in (or out) from when and for how long.

The EU has such an official publication (published in 24 languages), and each of the 27 member states have their own official publication (published in their official language(s)). And then it depends on the situation in question what actually counts and whether it even concerns you. We had this earlier with the endless and confusing and largely futile aviation security discussions and now it was similar with the lockdown discussions.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
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"The Portuguese government has announced that from January 1 2021, travel by UK nationals to Portugal, including Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores, will not be permitted,
And if you follow my advice and actually check current Portuguese legislation then you can tell your readers not only from when this travel ban applies to UK nationals and Canadian nationals and US nationals and a huge number of other nationals, including all exceptions for said nationals, but also until when this piece of legislation is in force:

O presente despacho produz efeitos a partir das 00h00 do dia 1 de janeiro de 2021 e até às 23h59 do dia 15 de janeiro de 2021, podendo ser revisto em qualquer altura, em função da evolução da situação epidemiológica.

See Despacho n.º 12727-B/2020.

I am pretty certain that pretty much every other EU country has published pretty much similar legislation within the last 24-48 hours if not earlier.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Catalonia is going into another lockdown, January 7th to 17th for the time being, with non-essential travel between municipalities closed down.

The UK has also returned to lockdown until February 15th.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Catalonia is going into another lockdown, January 7th to 17th for the time being, with non-essential travel between municipalities closed down.
@JabbaPapa, I appreciate your updates as you find them and report info even though for now I can only remain in the US. You were a great help to me in 2018 when the train strikes messed with my plans to get to Le Puy and then return back to Paris from Moissac on the train...you helped my peace of mind and offered alternative ideas to consider in a pinch.
 

JabbaPapa

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Aragón has gone back into lockdown, and the lockdown in Castilla y León will continue beyond January 10th.

As a reminder, the current Spanish State of Alarm is set to last until March, and lets each Region declare its own lockdowns, curfews, etc rather than the Central Government.
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
"Lockdowns" in many points of Spain due to a "historic" snowfall.
40 cms in Madrid, no flights, no trains, no buses.
Next week -12°C is expected in Madrid This will be a record in 100 years.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Portugal will return to full lockdown tomorrow at midnight, it was just announced. Schools will stay open but other than that it will be the same as the first lockdown last March-April. It is expected to last about a month.
 
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Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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Zaragoza, Huesca and Teruel have gone into lockdown.
 

JabbaPapa

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Not quite lockdown but related to the reasons for it ...

Given that France is probably, outside Galicia plus some few exceptions for Spanish residents of nearby regions, the only place where a Camino remains possible, albeit in somewhat difficult conditions given various travel restrictions from abroad, 6PM curfew, and the closure of bars and restaurants (except takeaway) -- a negative PCR test is now necessary to enter the country including from elsewhere in the EU, with two notable exceptions : if it's "essential travel" ; or if it's land travel. So no PCR test needed if you walk, drive, bus or train into the country over a land border from the EU.

However, France is not ruling out another lockdown, so this possibility of a Camino is pretty much restricted to those who could easily return home over land in France or nearby if it were imposed.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Not about lockdowns exactly but I'm not sure where else to put this. According to stats from Our World in Data, the two countries worldwide with the highest rate of COVID-19 infection per one million inhabitants in the last week are ... Portugal and Spain. Portugal is No.1 by far.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.31.28 AM.png
 

JabbaPapa

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Portugal is No.1 by far.
Portugal basically escaped the first onslaught in the Spring, and so now they have a combination of that first onslaught with the seasonal respiratory diseases period.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
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Not about lockdowns exactly but I'm not sure where else to put this.
I'll follow this tradition :). I tend to think that anyone who opens or follows this long thread does so at their peril.

EU travel restrictions and related measures are in the news today and may be in the news in the next few days. I was trying to make sense of it but it's not so easy without visuals.

So, this is what I know: there are data and graphs and other statistics that the ECDC produces for the EU countries. There's no point in arguing about them or linking to other websites - these are the data that they collect and collate and the data that are used to set or to adapt travel restrictions and related measures.

One parameter that we got used to in recent months is the 14-day case notification rate per 100 000 inhabitants. Two maps for this indicator for the EU and for non-EU countries are shown in the following posts.
 

Kathar1na

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This map illustrates the 14-day case notification rate per 100 000 inhabitants for the EU. When you look closely you can discern the individual regions of every country. The highest category is a rate that is equal or above 150. Since this map was devised almost the whole Continent is now red, making the map largely useless, as the rates are above 150 nearly everywhere. Therefore, a change of the design is proposed with a different kind of classification/colour scheme.

ECDC Europe.jpg
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
This map illustrates the 14-day case notification rate per 100 000 inhabitants for EU and non-EU countries. The classification/colours are different from the EU only map. You can see for example that Portugal is currently in the group with a rate above 960 and Spain is in the next highest group with more than 480 but still below 960.

In this ECDC map, the USA is in the same group as Portugal, and Canada is in the same group as France and Germany for example. Needless to say that Australia and New Zealand are in the group with the lowest rate (below 20). The recommendation for lifting travel restrictions for non-EU citizens travelling from their country to the EU says that their rate should be below 25. One may wonder how many weeks it will take before countries show such a low rate ...

ECDC World.jpg
 
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JabbaPapa

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w01_02_COVID_subnational_Last_2week.png.png
 

Kathar1na

Member
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Today, the European Union updated the list of countries whose residents should be exempt from the general EU travel ban and who should be allowed to travel into the EU: Japan is removed from the list and only six countries remain on the list, namely Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

This change is of very limited value for leisure travellers who live in one of these six countries because in order to be let into Spain, France, Portugal and the rest, they first have to be allowed to leave the country where they live. In many cases they are not allowed to leave or are strongly discouraged from leaving or don't want to travel anyway right now or during February.

Spain usually follows such an EU recommendation and converts it into national law, often at the end of the month and for a duration of around four weeks. I presume that they will do so within the next few days. Their current entry ban for international tourists expires this Sunday.

 
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Kathar1na

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Spain usually follows such an EU recommendation and converts it into national law, often at the end of the month and for a duration of around four weeks. I presume that they will do so within the next few days. Their current entry ban for international tourists expires this Sunday.
As expected, the new country list is published in today‘s BOE. So no international tourists from outside the EU allowed into Spain until 24:00 on 28 February 2021.
 

JabbaPapa

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France has banned all incoming travelling (usual exceptions withstanding) from all non-EU countries.
 

JabbaPapa

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France has extended its "state of sanitary emergency" to 1st June.
 

JabbaPapa

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Restrictions on travel into Spain from UK, South Africa, and Brazil have been extended to March 2nd.


Controls along the land border between Portugal and Spain have been prolonged to March 1st.

Bars and restaurants in the Basque Country will be able to reopen from Wednesday onward.
 
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JabbaPapa

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hmmm -- I have watched Ivar's video about the municipal lockdowns in Galicia, but what I have been unable to discover in researching this is if the exception that had been implemented for pilgrims remains active.

Though I seem to recall that it required them to avoid entering any locked-down Municipality with the exception of Santiago itself. Though it may be that current numbers are so low anyway that the Galician Authorities might simply be tolerating that handful of lone pilgrims engaged in this intrinsically socially distant activity at this time.

An announcement on some easing of restrictions in Galicia is apparently due today, for Wednesday onwards, though it is likely to be a narrower rather than broader easing of them.

Ivar seems pessimistic about prospects for a Spring Camino, and for those not already legally present in Galicia or Castilla y León I am too as far as March is concerned -- but it's far too early IMO to assess how things might be in April or May, as the respiratory diseases season draws to a close and depending on the effects of the vaccination programmes and if the prospective antigen treatments might be authorised for use.

Sorry for the somewhat speculative post, though I've done my best to keep it fact-based -- it's not my habit to speculate in this thread as that's not what it's for.

Regional lockdown in Italy has been prolonged to 25th February, and there are entry restrictions into the country as well as local restrictions in some regions.

So France is still the only country where a Camino is possible, though within the boundaries of the 6PM-6AM curfew and the closure of bars and restaurants (except takeaway), and provided you are legally present in France in the first place.
 

JabbaPapa

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So there are some changes, but the Municipal lockdowns in Galicia have been extended for a week Wednesday.
 

JabbaPapa

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Restrictions are starting to be eased in some Regions of Spain, as detailed here :


And whilst there have been some clearly negative stories about the vaccines that should perhaps be taken into account in a personal perspective (or not taken into account), the overall effect of the vaccines on infection and hospitalisation rates seems to be above the expected level of natural decrease from the end of the current respiratory diseases season. Which is clearly good news Camino-wise and &c.
 

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Restrictions are starting to be eased in some Regions of Spain, as detailed here :


And whilst there have been some clearly negative stories about the vaccines that should perhaps be taken into account in a personal perspective (or not taken into account), the overall effect of them on infection and hospitalisation rates seems to be above the expected level of natural decrease from the end of the current respiratory diseases season. Which is clearly good news Camino-wise and &c.
Having just been a recipient of one of the "negative storied" vaccines...I am very, very grateful.
 

JabbaPapa

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As far as I can tell from some confusing Government guidelines, hiking should become possible in the UK from 29th March (there's possibly a dodgy workaround from 8th March, if you're in the UK but without a "home" as such, but meh) -- though hotels and other accommodation facilities will stay closed 'til 12th April, when self-contained accommodation such as an AirBnB shall become available, then 17th May for the others.

Overseas travel from UK will remain banned until at least 12th April, possibly longer.

--

A weekend lockdown has been announced in Nice and all coastal Municipalities in the Alpes-Maritimes for the next two weekends, so that without an official document certifying a handicap/disability, the coastal Francigena/Camino route is closed in the Département on those weekends.

Very minor lockdown news I know, but it's local news for me personally.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Many restrictions are being lifted in Galicia from Friday, February 26th, though there will continue to be limitations on group sizes and other restrictions affecting inhabitants of the Province.

The following Municipalities will remain in varying degrees of lockdown :

Aranga, Cabanas, Carballo, Catoira, Corcubión, O Corgo, Gomesende, A Gudiña, Guitiriz, Larouco, Malpica de Bergantiños, Moeche, A Peroxa, Ponteceso, A Pontenova, Toques, Xunqueira de Espadanedo, A Coruña, Ferrol, Pontevedra, as well as some individual districts in Vigo, Lugo, Ourense, Santiago de Compostela. (but Pilgrims with their credencial remain by exception allowed to enter Santiago)

Elsewhere in Galicia, bars and restaurants will reopen, and all other Municipal lockdowns will end -- but travelling into Galicia is still forbidden with the particular exception of foot Pilgrims from Castilla y León.

--

Castilla y León is also lifting some restrictions today, so that bars and restaurants will be allowed to stay open until 9:30 PM, and the previous 8 PM curfew is becoming a 10 PM curfew.

The Province's borders do remain closed though, so only Pilgrims already present in Castilla y León (or Galicia) may walk a Camino there, bearing in mind the exceptional permission granted to foot Pilgrims to cross the Provincial border from Castilla y León into Galicia, but even solitary foot Pilgrims are still AFAIK barred from entering into Castilla y León from elsewhere (don't know if the reopening of La Rioja will create a second exception -- though it's doubtful ; but if it did, this would technically constitute reopening the entire Camino Francès to foot pilgrims (not others, except maybe bike ones), as the land border between France and Navarra is open for land travel, long-distance hiking is permitted in France, and the reopening of La Rioja means there'd be nobody to stop you entering the Province from Navarra ; which of course is exactly why Castilla y León might not allow it ; but this is definitely one to keep an eye on !!).

--

As to my own ongoing Camino, Catalonia remains in lockdown 'til at least 28th February (you can still do stuff like cross-border shopping trips from France) ; though curfew is now at 10 PM instead and there is some reopening of bars and restaurants. Internal lockdowns are easing in Aragón, except land crossings from France, but the Province remains closed. La Rioja is reopening, keeping only a 11 PM curfew. Navarra remains closed, except land crossings from France, with a 11 PM curfew, but bars and restaurants will be reopening for indoor business on Friday. The Basque Country remains in hard lockdown. Asturias a little less hard. Cantabria remains in regional lockdown, but is easing several measures internally.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Corrected some mistakes and added some details to my previous post.

Bottom line though, there is starting to be some general easing of restrictions in Spain. :cool:
 
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JabbaPapa

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Italy on the other hand has returned into a harder lockdown 'til 27th March, with no travel between Regions allowed.
 

JabbaPapa

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Overseas travel from UK will remain banned until at least 12th April, possibly longer.
And Spain has banned incoming travel from the UK except Spaniards and Spanish residents 'til March 16th.
 

Kathar1na

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published in today‘s BOE. So no international tourists from outside the EU allowed into Spain until 24:00 on 28 February 2021
The majority of us here live in countries where the government either does not allow us to travel abroad or strongly advises against travelling abroad. And even if we were able to cross our own national borders, the majority of us are not allowed to enter Spain. Spain has just prolonged their entry bans for international travellers. They are published in today's Bolétin Official del Estado. The situation remains the same as it has been for many weeks if not months.

Until 31 March 2021, 24:00 hours:
Entry ban for residents of nearly all the world's countries with the exception of a few countries. For example, this entry ban applies to the residents of the USA, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, and the UK but it does not apply to residents of Australia, New Zealand and South Korea and a couple of other countries. Also exempt from this entry ban are Spanish nationals and Spanish residents as well as nationals of other EU countries and their residents, no matter from which country they departed for Spain.
In addition, there are stricter rules for flights from the UK, Brazil and South Africa:

Until 16 March 2021, 18:00 hours:
On flights from the UK, Brazil and South Africa to Spain, the only passengers allowed on such flights are nationals and residents of Spain and Andorra.
In general, there is great concern about mutants of the virus. The more the virus gets spread to other people, even when the carrier doesn't get ill or very ill, the greater the chances of the appearance and further transmission of a more harmful mutation.
 
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Reposting from the Portugal COVID status thread:

Yesterday the state of emergency / lockdown was extended for two more weeks (the longest extension allowable under Portuguese law):
Portugal extends COVID-19 lockdown, will plan for lifting restrictions

Unofficially, as mentioned upthread, it's likely that the lockdown will continue through Easter in early April. The president spoke yesterday about resisting them temptation to reopen too quickly and said we have to 'earn it'.
Marcelo: "Desconfinamento? Temos de ganhar até à Páscoa o verão e o outono" (article in Portuguese)
 

JabbaPapa

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Spain has just prolonged their entry bans for international travellers.
There are some restrictions on air travel from the EU, mainly in the form of a recent negative test ; and EU national or resident travellers from some "risk" countries may also need a second test on arrival, which could lead to a quarantine if it's positive.

The major exception to these general requirements is land travel from other EU countries (i.e. France and Portugal) plus Gibraltar. Though some Regions like Catalonia have restricted that to local cross-border crossings for such purposes as a shopping trip, so that travel between the non-EU country Andorra and Catalonia is restricted to the residents of either, and it is geographically limited to Andorra and the Urgell comarca.
 

jungleboy

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There are some restrictions on air travel from the EU, mainly in the form of a recent negative test ; and EU national or resident travellers from some "risk" countries may also need a second test on arrival, which could lead to a quarantine if it's positive.

The major exception to these general requirements is land travel from other EU countries (i.e. France and Portugal) plus Gibraltar. Though some Regions like Catalonia have restricted that to local cross-border crossings for such purposes as a shopping trip, so that travel between the non-EU country Andorra and Catalonia is restricted to the residents of either, and it is geographically limited to Andorra and the Urgell comarca.
The Portugal-Spain border is closed (except for goods, trans-border workers etc) and that closure was just extended for two more weeks.
Article in Portuguese.
 

JabbaPapa

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The Portugal-Spain border is closed
Sure, but my own post was from the Spanish perspective.

Similarly, Spain's restrictions on inbound travel from the UK are less extensive then the UK's own restrictions on outbound travel from the UK.
 

JabbaPapa

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Spain appears to be shifting towards a general Regional lockdown in Easter Holy Week -- most broadly defined as Saturday March 20th to Monday March 29th, though that's just an estimate of the period within which such a lockdown might occur.
 
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JabbaPapa

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France appears to be aiming at mid-April for the lifting of the remaining national restrictions, i.e. the 6PM curfew and the closure of bars and restaurants.

If so, some local restrictions could still persist, as they're also aiming at a policy of allowing Départements and cities to establish them within their confines.

Italy meanwhile is heading towards tougher lockdown measures ; as things stand and until March 27th, only workers and so on plus residents of areas within 30K can cross the international border without a negative Covid test, whereas travel between the Italian regions is not permitted except for work, goods transport, etc.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Starting Monday 8th March, bars and restaurants in Catalonia will be allowed to open until 5PM.
 

JabbaPapa

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Spain has instituted a regional lockdown in "Easter week" (hrm !! hrm !!) -- plus a 10PM to 6 AM curfew.

i.e. it's from March 26th to April 9th. Two weeks.
 

JabbaPapa

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A things stand now, Castilla y León is set to remain in regional lockdown 'til 9th May, which is the date when the State of Alarm in Spain shall come to an end.

However, the regional vice-president has indicated that they may instead align with measures undertaken in the other regions, so that the lockdown may instead last 'til the end of Easter "week" i.e. April 9th.

So it is not unlikely that the lockdowns in Spain may be ending on April 9th -- except possibly Catalonia which has since the beginning sought to implement measures more restrictive than elsewhere (not surprising as the worst hit areas were in that Region) -- but at latest in any case on May 9th.

Doesn't mean that travel restrictions from non-EU countries will all be lifted at the same time, but it does at least give some indication when residents of EU countries may be able to get back onto the Camino ; i.e. in one month's time or two.
 

Kathar1na

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Until 31 March 2021, 24:00 hours:
Entry ban for the residents of the USA, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, and the UK and most other countries of the world. Does not apply to residents of Australia, New Zealand and South Korea and a few more countries. Also exempt from this entry ban are Spanish nationals, Spanish residents and nationals of other EU countries and their residents, no matter from which country they depart for Spain.

Until 16 March 2021, 18:00 hours.
On flights from the UK, Brazil and South Africa to Spain, the only passengers allowed on such flights are nationals and residents of Spain and Andorra.

This has now been extended until 30 March 2021, 18:00 hours.
Orden PCM/222/2021
 
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JabbaPapa

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Aragón is reopening internally from Friday onwards, though the Region remains in lockdown overall.
 

JabbaPapa

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Travel restrictions from the UK into France, from the French side anyway, have been significantly reduced.

A negative test is required and that's basically it.

Ditto travel from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Israel.
 

JabbaPapa

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Italy on the other hand has returned into a harder lockdown 'til 27th March, with no travel between Regions allowed.
This harder lockdown has been extended to at least April 5th ; bars & restaurants will also close.
 
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Kathar1na

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The closure of the Spain-Portugal border has been extended to the 6th of April (two days after Easter Sunday). Article in Portuguese.
There is such a patchwork of rules at the internal borders within the EU - both national and regional borders - that I've mostly stopped following things ☺️. I've set my sight on May as the earliest for any movements to and from another country as far as I and my family members are concerned.

Spain-Portugal is of course an internal EU border and it's useful to know what the situation is. And then there are the external EU borders, a major hurdle for many forum members. I'm curious to see which dams will be allowed to break after Easter ... there will be a European Council meeting on 25-26 March 2021 and Bloomberg writes in an article that appears to be well-informed that a group of European Union nations that count tourism as a significant industry is pushing for a relaxation of rules on traveling to the bloc from the rest of the world (ie from the UK in particular and of course also from the USA and others) and that decisions an easing entry restrictions may be taken at that date.

A few of the southern EU countries have already started unilateral approaches to ease the travel ban for international tourists (UK/US/Israel/etc) and if they can't find a common approach then the question will be what rules if any should apply if someone from a third country was to enter the bloc via one state and then seek to travel directly to another. But I think that is a minor issue ... a few foot pilgrims here and there will not make much difference and the absolute majority of international visitors to Spain and Portugal, mostly from the UK, will travel straight to their holiday destination and straight back.
 
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JabbaPapa

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The French have a plan for the reopening of bars and restaurants ; though there are as yet no dates for it.

Phase 1 would allow hotels to serve breakfast to their clients -- Camino-wise, means serving breakfast in the albergues will be made possible again.

In Phase 2, bars and restaurants can open their terraces, and indoors to 50% capacity.

Phase 3 is full reopening.
 

JabbaPapa

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A detail in a report in The Daily Telegraph today states that :

Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Spain and France have said they are ready to open to vaccinated Britons from mid-May or will allow entry to those with negative Covid test results.
 

Kathar1na

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In two weeks, we will have reached the beginning of April. This is usually the time when the iconic Orisson gîte in the Pyrenes at the beginning of the Camino Francés opens. I had a look at their website. The tone of their general announcement had changed a little ... 😶:

Attention, the future being uncertain we warn our customers that the deposit paid [€ 40] will not be refundable, this even in case of pandemic, closure, impossibility to travel etc…
This may sound like a “rough” way for some of you but we can no longer spend time processing bookings and payments and then processing cancellations and refunds.
Adventurers who still decide to make the deposit but will not eventually be able to come or benefit from [our services], for whatever reason, will lose their deposit which will be considered a donation to allow the Refuge Orisson and Kayola to [get through] the Covid [crisis] as was already done spontaneously in 2020 by some of you and we thank them again !!

Adventurers, gamblers ... 🤭🤔
 
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I support Orrison's decision, and now wonder if more hotels and albergues on websites like booking.com will soon follow suit. I have always appreciated their cancellation policies so it was a very simple process to cancel my 20+ bookings for 2020 online, although I was disappointed. Possibly in the future many more lodgings may require payments in advance with no refunds.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Several French Départements are going into a four-week lockdown from Friday at midnight :

Aisne, Alpes-Maritimes, Eure, Nord, Oise, Pas-de-Calais, Paris, Seine-Maritime, Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Somme, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise.

860_visactu-nouveau-confinement-pour-4-semaines-dans-16-departements.jpg


No entering or exiting these regions without a valid reason -- people will be able to get out of the house when they want, with the official certificate and a valid reason, but only within a 10K radius.

This will of course make some Caminos more difficult, and some particular route sections unfeasible to most.

I personally can get 'round the lockdown here if it should continue beyond what will turn out to be my restart date, though that's unlikely to be before May -- but I am in particular circumstances. Most are not so fortunate.

Otherwise, the curfew will be changed from 6PM to 7PM.
 

JabbaPapa

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An English-language description of the current lockdowns in Spain is found here :


Of note : Aragón and Catalonia have now both reopened internally, although travel to and from other regions is still forbidden (as is the case everywhere except Extremadura).

Restrictions are easing in Galicia (with the exception of three small municipalities), so that restaurants may remain open 'til 9PM, and other businesses will resume normal opening hours.
 

JabbaPapa

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The closure of the Spain-Portugal border has been extended to the 6th of April (two days after Easter Sunday). Article in Portuguese.
Restaurants and bars will be able to reopen their terraces from 5th April, but limited to 4 customers.

The internal lockdown between municipalities will also end on April 5th.

From 19th April bars and restaurants can be open to 4 customers indoors plus 6 outdoors, and until 10PM in the week, 1PM on weekends. And up to 6 people will be able to participate in outdoor activities together.

From 3rd May, bars and restaurants can have 6 indoors, 10 outdoors, and no restrictions on opening times. All restrictions on outdoor activities are lifted, so that this is a possible date for Camino possibilities for those already in Portugal.
 
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JabbaPapa

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No entering or exiting these regions without a valid reason -- people will be able to get out of the house when they want, with the official certificate and a valid reason, but only within a 10K radius.
The French Government has clarified that the 10K radius limit only applies to daily exercise near home -- all other authorised activities are allowed within a 30K radius, though these limits do not apply to those with professional or other such justifications.

These limits do not apply to me personally given my situation, but they do apply to most people not working on any particular day.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Those in the French lockdown Départements are no longer required to have a certificate to go out of the house within a radius of 10K (thankfully !! no more of this annoying hassle !!) ; but will still need one for trips further afield, and during 7PM to 6AM curfew.

As to long-distance travel in France, the rules are complex ; most likely because some French technocrats like complexity for its own sake.

Outbound long-distance travel is only restricted as such for those actually living in those lockdown Départements. However, it is permitted (with a certificate) for professional and administrative purposes, family crisis, or if you are handicapped. Or moving house.

Inbound long-distance travel (with a certificate) to those lockdown Départements is possible (i.e. your journey ends there), though broadly speaking you would need to live there or to be in one of the abovementioned conditions. i.e. your journey would need to be justifiable one way or another.

Long-distance travel through the lockdown Départements, i.e. starting elsewhere and finishing elsewhere (i.e. "transit"), is authorised, with one of those certificates. So that Camino-wise, a pilgrim able to enter France from his country of residence could fly to Paris (with the negative test etc), and then travel onwards from there to Le Puy or wherever -- despite the Paris lockdown.

Long-distance travel outside the lockdown Départements is unrestricted, though you will need a certificate to justify travel during 7PM to 6AM curfew. In this case, the travel itself is sufficient justification to be out during curfew.

Finally, those resident in countries other than France can engage in travel to their home countries outside of the above restrictions and conditions ; similar for residents of France traveling there from another country.
 
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JabbaPapa

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From Monday onwards, there will be a fine of £5,000 for attempting to leave the UK (except for the Common Travel Area of the British Isles) without a valid reason.

The overseas travel ban has been extended to June 30th
 

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JabbaPapa

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Here is an article detailing travel conditions into Spain until after Easter :


It is not written with Pilgrims in mind, and so it (quite rightly BTW) refrains from any and all mention of the exception that is granted to foot pilgrims ONLY to pass the border of Castilla y León to Galicia. Having said that, I really would not recommend attempting this during Easter week, even though it is technically legal to enter into Castilla y León from a EU country not restricting outbound travel and to walk from there to Compostela.
 
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