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COVID Lockdowns

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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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

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
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

"True Pilgrim"
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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

"True Pilgrim"
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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

"True Pilgrim"
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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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JabbaPapa

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

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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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

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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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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Deleted member 34316

Guest
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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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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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

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
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

"True Pilgrim"
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Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
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

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Year of past OR future Camino
2019

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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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
Year of past OR future Camino
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

"True Pilgrim"
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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.
 
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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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
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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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
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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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
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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Year of past OR future Camino
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
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

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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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 ...
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
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

"True Pilgrim"
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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

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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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.
"
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
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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Year of past OR future Camino
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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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
"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

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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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

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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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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