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Maskless walkers

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Barbara

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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I see a lot of photos from people walking the camino(s) right now and in almost every case, none of them are wearings masks. Does this not bother anyone else but me?
Probably. Chances of transferring anything outside are pretty tiny. I don't wear a mask unless it's required.
 

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!
I see a lot of photos from people walking the camino(s) right now and in almost every case, none of them are wearings masks. Does this not bother anyone else but me?

It depends. Are they with family or other vaccinated folks? Are they keeping distance sufficient to protect themselves. We know that transmission occurs much less outdoors. So I would need more information to comment. All I can tell you is if a stranger is approaching I will place my mask over my nose and mouth.
 
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natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2009
In all of Spain, there is still a mask mandate... So Camino walkers (at least in Spain) should still be wearing them even if they've been vaccinated and their home countries have different laws. However, I believe that with the end of the state of emergency the police can't enforce it like they used to... But it's still a guideline and a "rule" even if it's not the law.
 

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!
You can still spread the virus even if you are vaccinated. The pictures I see are of in towns with a lot of other people around.
In all of Spain, there is still a mask mandate... So Camino walkers (at least in Spain) should still be wearing them even if they've been vaccinated and their home countries have different laws. However, I believe that with the end of the state of emergency the police can't enforce it like they used to... But it's still a guideline and a "rule" even if it's not the law.

Nate, I can assure you that I will walk always with a mask on my chin, but if there are no other walkers or people nearby, I will not be walking for miles covering my mouth and nose,…ridiculous. If someone is that fearful they may want to forgo a Camino now. Truthfully, it is scientifically unnecessary according to the CDC guidelines. Definitely Can’t see that happening, when others are not around …especially on a hot day going up a hill. But if a new variant changes things and the science changes, so will I!
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Good to know. I wonder what the rule is on the Coastal Camino in Portugal, it might even be a law there. I’m going to ask what the rules and laws are when and where I am…they keep changing. As for does it bother me what others do? Nope, I’m fully vaccinated and protected by St Michael and an Army of Angels 😇
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I see a lot of photos from people walking the camino(s) right now and in almost every case, none of them are wearings masks. Does this not bother anyone else but me?
I read four Spanish newspapers daily (using a translator program). It is my understanding from this that the current OFFICIAL policy is that masks are ONLY required when you cannot maintain a 1.5 meter separation between people - let's call it 6 feet for those of us who do not daily use the metric system.

When you are walking a Camino and you are out of a town, hamlet, city, etc. you do not need to wear a mask. Once you enter a town, etc. the rule is that you maintain a 1.5 meter separation, and wear a mask if you can't.

Masks must be worn in restaurants and cafes, except when you are actually putting something into your mouth. Then you can lower your mask. However, in practice, I am seeing many photos of people who honor this rule in the breach.

Even in a city, like Santiago, masks are not always required outside. For example, you are okay maskless if in Plaza Obradoiro in front of the Cathedral. But, if you enter the Cathedral, my sense is that a mask is required. Observe what others are doing and follow their example.

We may as well get used to rules like these, and always carry a clean mask with us. These rules are going to be with us for some time to come - at least IMHO.

Personally, I use a badge holder strap around my neck to clip a mask onto. When I need it, I bring it up. When not needed, it rides on my chest - where everyone can see that I have it, ready to use.

Hope this helps.

Ultreia,

Tom
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Don 't forget that cotton masks need to be washed at least on 60 Celsius. Something that will not be the case with handwashing in albergues. I also doubt that many of the actual washing machines in the albergues will go up to that temperature.
I would stick to surgical masks that can be disposed after wearing. In a trash can of course. I do hope that we will not see any lost masks somewhere on any Caminopath.
 
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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!
Don 't forget that cotton masks need to be washed at least on 60 Celsius. Something that will not be the case with handwashing in albergues. I also doubt that many of the actual washing machines in the albergues will go up to that temperature.
I would stick to surgical masks that can be disposed after wearing. In a trash can of course. I do hope that we will not see any lost masks somewhere on any Caminopath.
Important reminder about masks that need washing, SabineP. We will bring disposible masks as well. Can they now be bought in supermarkets in Spain?
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Important reminder about masks that need washing, SabineP. We will bring disposible masks as well Can they now be bought in supermarkets in Spain?


Mercadona sells them. So other supermarkets will too.
Take into consideration that quality differs from brand to brand. Plus sometimes the elastic bands are too loose. Well at least that is my experience here in Belgium.

Don't forget to visit a Spanish pharmacy. They will most certainly stock it also!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
CDC guidance (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/participate-in-activities.html) indicates that - if fully vaccinated - masks are not necessary for outdoor activities unless local regulations mandate. That's US, of course.
The caminos, of course, are not in the US. Its the guidance issued in each of the local government areas that matters. Then there is the unselfish approach, which as individuals, ensures we pilgrims are not responsible for traipsing the virus around with them and infecting the locals.
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
I read four Spanish newspapers daily (using a translator program). It is my understanding from this that the current OFFICIAL policy is that masks are ONLY required when you cannot maintain a 1.5 meter separation between people - let's call it 6 feet for those of us who do not daily use the metric system.

When you are walking a Camino and you are out of a town, hamlet, city, etc. you do not need to wear a mask. Once you enter a town, etc. the rule is that you maintain a 1.5 meter separation, and wear a mask if you can't.

I am sorry, but I don't think your interpretation of the current official policy is correct. As @amancio stated, in towns a mask is compulsory - not just when you can not maintain 1.5 meter seperation. (this was the wording in the government decree of June 2020). However, the March 2021 law published in the Official State Gazette made masks mandatory in all public spaces regardless of the distance between people. At this moment this law still applies.

Whether everybody adheres to this policy is another matter.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2009
Nate, I can assure you that I will walk always with a mask on my chin, but if there are no other walkers or people nearby, I will not be walking for miles covering my mouth and nose,…ridiculous. If someone is that fearful they may want to forgo a Camino now. Truthfully, it is scientifically unnecessary according to the CDC guidelines. Definitely Can’t see that happening, when others are not around …especially on a hot day going up a hill. But if a new variant changes things and the science changes, so will I!

With all due respect, CDC guidelines do not apply to what's happening in Spain. If I go to the US, I will respect what the CDC says about masks and vaccinated people. If I'm in Spain, I will respect what the government has recommended/ put in place for its people. For now, masks are still universal in Spain. Until they relax those laws, we still need to expect to wear them more often than not. I totally get that on the Camino there will be times that no one is around and you'll take it off. However, it's not fair to say that people are fearful if they're trying to be faithful to what the rules/ recommendations are.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I like the idea of a a very light strap holding the mask on my chest…then I won’t have to have it around my ears all day but can still put it up quickly! Great idea.
I have made a lot of mask holders to wear your mask around your neck, using a length of cord and with a lobster clasp at each end. The supplies are in the jewelry making section at craft stores.
Take into consideration that quality differs from brand to brand. Plus sometimes the elastic bands are too loose. Well at least that is my experience here in Belgium.
If the loops are too loose simply tie a knot at the ends to shorten it up.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2009
The news from yesterday: https://www.diariosur.es/sociedad/salud/simon-fin-mascarillas-exteriores-20210607195403-nt.html

"Eso sí, Simón no ha dado fecha concreta ni fórmula para relajar esta obligación. Solo ha especulado que que el mes de julio, «o incluso antes», podría dejar de ser obligatoria la mascarilla en exteriores. «Creo que julio, o incluso antes, puede ser una buena fecha para plantear dejar de usar las mascarillas en los exteriores». El epidemiólogo ha recordado que la mascarilla seguirá siendo obligatoria en muchos ámbitos, como en interiores: «Habrá ámbitos en los que será muy difícil dejarlas hasta que no haya un gran porcentaje de la población vacunada, pero en exteriores, para hacer una vida normal, sí puede ser«."

Fernando Simon, from Spain's Ministry of Health, hasn't given a concrete date for relaxing the mask mandate outdoors. He speculates that maybe in July, or maybe earlier, we might be able to go maskless outside. This means that it's still the rule today, to wear a mask outside (and inside).

All pilgrims coming to Spain should be aware of this, and be ready to comply.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
The news from yesterday: https://www.diariosur.es/sociedad/salud/simon-fin-mascarillas-exteriores-20210607195403-nt.html

"Eso sí, Simón no ha dado fecha concreta ni fórmula para relajar esta obligación. Solo ha especulado que que el mes de julio, «o incluso antes», podría dejar de ser obligatoria la mascarilla en exteriores. «Creo que julio, o incluso antes, puede ser una buena fecha para plantear dejar de usar las mascarillas en los exteriores». El epidemiólogo ha recordado que la mascarilla seguirá siendo obligatoria en muchos ámbitos, como en interiores: «Habrá ámbitos en los que será muy difícil dejarlas hasta que no haya un gran porcentaje de la población vacunada, pero en exteriores, para hacer una vida normal, sí puede ser«."

Fernando Simon, from Spain's Ministry of Health, hasn't given a concrete date for relaxing the mask mandate outdoors. He speculates that maybe in July, or maybe earlier, we might be able to go maskless outside. This means that it's still the rule today, to wear a mask outside (and inside).

All pilgrims coming to Spain should be aware of this, and be ready to comply.

Yes, and I would obey regulations if I were travelling -- as a matter of courtesy.

But would I be upset or worried as OP is about the fact that people are outside and maskless? From a disease transmission perspective... no.

Anyway, I won't be on the ground until 2022... winter...
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I am sorry, but I don't think your interpretation of the current official policy is correct. As @amancio stated, in towns a mask is compulsory - not just when you can not maintain 1.5 meter seperation. (this was the wording in the government decree of June 2020). However, the March 2021 law published in the Official State Gazette made masks mandatory in all public spaces regardless of the distance between people. At this moment this law still applies.

Whether everybody adheres to this policy is another matter.
I respect your right to disagree. My comments were based on the photographic evidence published on the newspapers. I was commenting on what the photos showed.

The bottom line is that we should be prepared to follow local laws. This means bringing face masks.

Beyond that, I suggest doing what the locals do. Most of us going into Spain will have been vaccinated. It really is a case of going with the flow and not offending your hosts.

Ultreia!

Tom
 
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C clearly

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Year of past OR future Camino
2021
You can still spread the virus even if you are vaccinated.
This statement is not a good generalization. It is not yet known if or when or how, the virus can be spread by vaccinated people. Therefore the recommendation/rule about mask-wearing is intended to be cautious/conservative and assume it can be spread, until the evidence shows what the real risk is.

"Anything" is possible and we are at constant risk of acquiring various diseases, but the public health rules are based on practicalities and probabilities.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
It is my understanding from this that the current OFFICIAL policy is that masks are ONLY required when you cannot maintain a 1.5 meter separation between people

My comments were based on the photographic evidence published on the newspapers. I was commenting on what the photos showed.
Instead of "OFFICIAL policy", then, did you mean "common practice" ?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
This statement is not a good generalization. It is not yet known if or when or how, the virus can be spread by vaccinated people. Therefore the recommendation/rule about mask-wearing is intended to be cautious/conservative and assume it can be spread, until the evidence shows what the real risk is.

"Anything" is possible and we are at constant risk of acquiring various diseases, but the public health rules are based on practicalities and probabilities.

Meant to augment your message C:

And as a practical point -- viral spread does not equal expression of illness. We have no idea yet, as you say, about whether the vaccinated can spread the virus. Based on other viruses: probably not... but anything is possible (as you say).

My point here is that we need to get to a point (virologists anticipate 2023-ish) when we can accept that presence of the virus is not equal to presence of the disease.

We know that people vaccinated against flu can still get the flu -- but they are less likely to end up more than minority inconvenienced.

I wish that people did not want to race off in all directions on the one hand, willy-nilly to "allow their bliss" (others be damned), and that on the other hand people were not ready to berate others for being outside, being massless, eating dinner, ... being human.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I see a lot of photos from people walking the camino(s) right now and in almost every case, none of them are wearings masks. Does this not bother anyone else but me?

Since I am not in Spain walking a Camino, it doesn't bother me what pilgrims decide to do who are walking. Sorta like how I am not bothered by what people choose to do in LA, Chicago, or NOLA.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
The caminos, of course, are not in the US. Its the guidance issued in each of the local government areas that matters. Then there is the unselfish approach, which as individuals, ensures we pilgrims are not responsible for traipsing the virus around with them and infecting the locals.

Yes, agreed. And I am still not *bothered* by people being maskless -- not from a health protection sense. I may be annoyed at the violation of a social norm... but I won't be running in fear from massless persons outside in countries with high vaccination rates for first doses.
 
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Marc S.

Active Member
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Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
I respect your right to disagree. My comments were based on the photographic evidence published on the newspapers. I was commenting on what the photos showed.

The bottom line is that we should be prepared to follow local laws. This means bringing face masks.

Beyond that, I suggest doing what the locals do. Most of us going into Spain will have been vaccinated. It really is a case of going with the flow and not offending your hosts.

I am sorry but this is not about the right to disagree. You give factually wrong information about current Spanish legislation and policy & some members (who actually live in Spain) have also confirmed this.

Or maybe you were referring to common practice instead of policy, I don't know. (but you referred to OFFICIAL policy - even choosing to use capitals)

Anyway , why not just admit your were wrong about this (no big deal, things like this happen) and admit your post is misleading.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
common practice
Not wearing a mask is not even common practice in Santiago. Those who live there have repeatedly said otherwise. I just watched the Praza das Praterías webcam. It is easier to see people's faces on this webcam than on the Praza do Obradoiro webcam. Of the 40 people who walked by and where I managed to see their faces, 40 were wearing a mask.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Doesn't bother me.
I wear a mask indoors in establishments that require it.
I don't if not required.
I never wear a mask outdoors.
If people WANT to wear a mask outdoors then I assume they're protected from me.
But if the local national/ regional laws make it mandatory to wear masks outdoors we MUST all comply.

I personally will always act on the safe side. Even if I have had my two vaccins I'm very aware that I can still spread the virus to someone else, even if the chances are slim.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
If they were walking in rural areas with no one around, then I think it is ok. If you are around others, then you should put one on.

There is talk about Spain loosening up on the mask outdoor law in the next few weeks (making it ok to be outside, at a distance to others, without a mask). The rumours say "before July" there will be a change in this.
 
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SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Not wearing a mask is not even common practice in Santiago. Those who live there have repeatedly said otherwise. I just watched the Praza das Praterías webcam. It is easier to see people's faces on this webcam than on the Praza do Obradoiro webcam. Of the 40 people who walked by and where I managed to see their faces, 40 were wearing a mask.


Indeed! So nice to see how courteous people are!
 

CalgaryLynn

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I see a lot of photos from people walking the camino(s) right now and in almost every case, none of them are wearings masks. Does this not bother anyone else but me?
No, I would expect that people walking outside don't wear masks. In our city, it is only mandatory when inside to wear a mask. Also many people have vaccinations now. It wouldn't bother me but then you may come from a place where things are different.
 
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But if the local national/ regional laws make it mandatory to wear masks outdoors we MUST all comply.

I personally will always act on the safe side. Even if I have had my two vaccins I'm very aware that I can still spread the virus to someone else, even if the chances are slim.
Yes, if it is mandatory I will comply.
The question was about if it bothered me, and no, it doesn't.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
I'm guessing members have exhausted the topic of what they would do, whatever everybody else should do and, perhaps, even what everybody (else) could do to prevent the spread of our current favourite virus.

I'm going to lock this thread. Perhaps members will then feel free to focus on what they, personally, ought to do to avoid causing harm to others.
 
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