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COVID On the Camino, now what?

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
Hi, I was informed yesterday, by a friend who is a couple of days ahead of me (I'm in Ponferrada), that pilgrims already en route can continue. Can anyone confirm this? I have one more region to enter, Galicia, will this be allowed?
Please keep your answers to facts, not to whether I should be here or not. When I started, things were OK.
If not allowed, I obviously need to find out what I should do. If at all possible, I would like to carry on, not least because I am raising money for MsF.
 

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
A friend I made on the Camino, a couple of days in front of me, was stopped by police today and asked where he was going to. Being worse than me with names he said the next town or the one after. The officer then suggested Santiago? To which my friend replied next week, and he was wished buen camino.
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Portugués (2015 - 2019)
de Madrid (2019)
Argentino/Inglés (2020)
You will not be allowed to enter Galicia as of 2pm Friday October 30th until November 9th.
Castilla y León is confining, no entering or leaving.
This is news from an hour ago and is official.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
You will not be allowed to enter Galicia as of 2pm Friday October 30th until November 9th.
Castilla y León is confining, no entering or leaving.
This is news from an hour ago and is official.
This is confuse. My interpretation is Castilla y Leon allows transit through the region and Galicia is not in lockdown so the pilgrimage to Santiago is still possible.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
You can make it, Sue! Just get up to O Cebreiro by Friday afternoon and you won't be stuck in Castilla y Leon!
I walked that stretch in September, when Galicia was locking down; there was an officer stopping everyone in Las Herrerias and warning us of closed-down villages ahead. The Spanish authorities take all this very seriously.
No word on if you can still walk into Santiago de Compostela, however. Things are locking down fast all over the place.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
You can make it, Sue! Just get up to O Cebreiro by Friday afternoon and you won't be stuck in Castilla y Leon!
I walked that stretch in September, when Galicia was locking down; there was an officer stopping everyone in Las Herrerias and warning us of closed-down villages ahead. The Spanish authorities take all this very seriously.
No word on if you can still walk into Santiago de Compostela, however. Things are locking down fast all over the place.
Completely agree; great advice! Use public transport/taxi if you need to in order to reach O'Cebreiro on Friday. Brilliant idea from @Rebekah Scott !
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
You will not be allowed to enter Galicia as of 2pm Friday October 30th until November 9th.
Castilla y León is confining, no entering or leaving.
This is news from an hour ago and is official.
The earlier replies only covered entering Galicia. If Jeffery's post is correct then you may want to consider your options for leaving Galicia when that time comes.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Just a thought...........Keep your credential handy and up to date, to confirm, if questioned, that you did not just start and be turned around.......
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Thank you all for you advice and support. I will mullit over in my dreams and spread the word to others in the morning. I'llet you know what I decide.
Sybille Yates of this forum (pilgrim and good person who lives and takes care of pilgrims in Santiago) may be of help to you once/before you arrive in Santiago:


Also kind Nate & Faith of this forum @natefaith in the Pilgrims House in Rua Nova 19 in SdC may be of assistance in some form.


And of course you have our beloved @ivar , The forum master living in SdC :)

But again, I am fully supporting @Rebekah Scott 's advice to get into Galicia ASAP because of possible/likely lockdowns in Galicia in the near future.
 
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jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Portugués (2015 - 2019)
de Madrid (2019)
Argentino/Inglés (2020)
This is confuse. My interpretation is Castilla y Leon allows transit through the region and Galicia is not in lockdown so the pilgrimage to Santiago is still possible.
if i am not mistaken, i believe CyL is referring to trains, buses and cars, as you can easily cross the region with the former and not stop.
a pilgrim, on a bike or walking would have to stop and sleep, which would be hard to argue as 'transit'. lockdowns are lockdowns, and they are meant to deter unnecessary movement of people.

anyway, chances are there won't be police at the border as you walk up to O Cebreiro. mind you, i am not suggesting anyone should break the law.

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future 2021
Hi, I was informed yesterday, by a friend who is a couple of days ahead of me (I'm in Ponferrada), that pilgrims already en route can continue. Can anyone confirm this? I have one more region to enter, Galicia, will this be allowed?
Please keep your answers to facts, not to whether I should be here or not. When I started, things were OK.
If not allowed, I obviously need to find out what I should do. If at all possible, I would like to carry on, not least because I am raising money for MsF.
I have a family member who arrived in Santiago yesterday..with no problem..bit now having trouble getting out..trains are full and no buses..nothing advertised for saturday onwards..not much help but it's all I got..go well live and blessings for safe journey
 
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
they are meant to deter unnecessary movement of people.
Not only unnecessary movement should be avoided but also unnecessary contact with other people. Reduce your contacts to a small group of people and always the same ones. The current message is pretty clear, not only in Spain but in many other parts of Europe right now.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
What a worry, Sue.
Based on these responses, it looks like if you can get into Galicia by Friday you'll be able to proceed. Where I in your shoes, I would be concerned about how I would get home, though. Santiago de Compostela would be a delightful place to be stuck, but you might still be stuck. So I will amplify what others have said to find out as much as you can about your options for getting home from there.
Buen Camino, peregrina— may you be safe and well!
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
if i am not mistaken, i believe CyL is referring to trains, buses and cars, as you can easily cross the region with the former and not stop.
a pilgrim, on a bike or walking would have to stop and sleep, which would be hard to argue as 'transit'. lockdowns are lockdowns, and they are meant to deter unnecessary movement of people.

anyway, chances are there won't be police at the border as you walk up to O Cebreiro. mind you, i am not suggesting anyone should break the law.

Buen Camino
I live in Madrid which has been in lock down and now it seems that is going to be again for next "puente" ,1N Monday is holiday. I could move everywhere inside Madrid but not leave the autonomous community.
I think that the pilgrims who were in CyL before the lockdown can move throughout the region and stay in towns without lock down and enter Galicia because they are in "transit". But it is just my opinion, maybe I am wrong.
 
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Sue, you may not need this information, but in case: I searched for a flight from SDC to London
@Sue127 lives apparently in France. She also mentioned that she travelled to SJPP by car. There will be no problem for returning to France by rental car for example. All the Spanish regions allow transiting their territory by car (the law says clearly: transit is allowed when origin and destination are outside of the region that has introduced a perimeter lockdown).

PS: I think transit means car traffic, not walking for days, but the texts are not always clear. The exact wording for CyL for example is: La circulación por carretera y viales que transcurran o atraviesen estará permitida siempre y cuando tengan origen y destino fuera del territorio de la Comunidad de Castilla y León (Acuerdo 10/2020, de 28 de octubre).
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Future 2021
@Sue127 lives apparently in France. She also mentioned that she travelled to SJPP by car. There will be no problem for returning to France by rental car for example. All the Spanish regions allow transiting their territory by car (the law says clearly: transit is allowed when origin and destination are outside of the region that has introduced a perimeter lockdown).
Great news
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
I live in Madrid which has been in lock down and now it seems that is going to be again for next "puente" ,1N Monday is holiday. I could move everywhere inside Madrid but not leave the autonomous community.
I think that the pilgrims who were in CyL before the lockdown can move throughout the region and stay in towns without lock down and enter Galicia because they are in "transit". But it is just my opinion, maybe I am wrong.
I am right now watching a Spanish TV program and on a interview to pilgrims in Praza do Obradoiro they said that every region is different for pilgrims. In Navarra no problems with the credencial, in Aragon it is strictly forbidden the Camino and in CyL it is not clear yet. So, it is a mess.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Yes, we are here in SdC and happy to help as we can! We know we (Pilgrim House) will at least be open through next week, but we're taking it week by week after that as the numbers keep dropping. But you can always send me a private message here if we're closed.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
@Sue127 lives apparently in France. She also mentioned that she travelled to SJPP by car. There will be no problem for returning to France by rental car for example. All the Spanish regions allow transiting their territory by car (the law says clearly: transit is allowed when origin and destination are outside of the region that has introduced a perimeter lockdown).

PS: I think transit means car traffic, not walking for days, but the texts are not always clear. The exact wording for CyL for example is: La circulación por carretera y viales que transcurran o atraviesen estará permitida siempre y cuando tengan origen y destino fuera del territorio de la Comunidad de Castilla y León (Acuerdo 10/2020, de 28 de octubre).
Thank you. I missed her place of domicile. Never hurts, though, to try to be helpful. You are, very often.
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Portugués (2015 - 2019)
de Madrid (2019)
Argentino/Inglés (2020)
I live in Madrid which has been in lock down and now it seems that is going to be again for next "puente" ,1N Monday is holiday. I could move everywhere inside Madrid but not leave the autonomous community.
I think that the pilgrims who were in CyL before the lockdown can move throughout the region and stay in towns without lock down and enter Galicia because they are in "transit". But it is just my opinion, maybe I am wrong.
hola, i live in Madrid too (what a mess...). transit meant: at least when Burgos and León were shut down, as entering, crossing and leaving a confined area, but not stopping, visiting, sightseeing or sleeping.

the Autonomous Region of Castilla y León (CyL) will be confined tomorrow. none of the towns along the French Camino are confined (to the best of my knowledge... this is all very confusing), which means: yes, if you are in CyL you can continue walking (i won't start a debate about if you 'should'). and no, you cannot enter CyL (unless you live here) or leave the region unless returning home or in transit, which we pilgrims are not.

anyway, i am sure Galicia and/or Santiago will follow suit soon and close this whole debate.

cheers
 
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
This may be relevant: On Monday the mayor of Santiago de Compostela, Xosé Sánchez Bugallo, was asked about the situation of pilgrims if a restriction on movement will be introduced for Galicia. Here's the reply:

PILGRIM MOBILITY
Asked whether a restriction of movement will affect the flow of pilgrims, Bugallo said he did not know if the movement of walking pilgrims will be prohibited in the event that Galicia decrees a lockdown perimeter for its territory [...].
He expressed his doubts that the rule allowing transit - as it would be the case for carriers [=transportistas ... I guess that means buses and taxis] - will be applicable to pilgrims on the Camino. "I have quite a few doubts, I hope that this will be clarified," he said.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
hola, i live in Madrid too (what a mess...). transit meant: at least when Burgos and León were shut down, as entering, crossing and leaving a confined area, but not stopping, visiting, sightseeing or sleeping.

the Autonomous Region of Castilla y León (CyL) will be confined tomorrow. none of the towns along the French Camino are confined (to the best of my knowledge... this is all very confusing), which means: yes, if you are in CyL you can continue walking (i won't start a debate about if you 'should'). and no, you cannot enter CyL (unless you live here) or leave the region unless returning home or in transit, which we pilgrims are not.

anyway, i am sure Galicia and/or Santiago will follow suit soon and close this whole debate.

cheers
Another thing is the control. My mother lives in a sanitary area that always has been confined, but my home sanitary area has never been confined. I visit my mother every day to take care of her. I am not breaking the law because my mother but never saw a police controlling movement.
 

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
Yes, we are here in SdC and happy to help as we can! We know we (Pilgrim House) will at least be open through next week, but we're taking it week by week after that as the numbers keep dropping. But you can always send me a private message here if we're closed.
Thank you. I may have to call on you for advice eater the time
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
This is confuse. My interpretation is Castilla y Leon allows transit through the region and Galicia is not in lockdown so the pilgrimage to Santiago is still possible.
When they say they allow transit, it means not stopping to stay overnight. It's usually aimed at car, train or bus travellers. However, the case of pilgrims on Camino is not specifically addressed, a lot will depend on the particular autonomous region or municipal area you are travelling through and their particular approach to enforcement of the restrictions. I live in Spain and I've been living this since the start, it's very confusing because of the decentralised government structure of Spain. Good luck, keep smiling, stay safe and try not to alarm the locals, some of whom have not been impressed by travellers coming in from Madrid or other big cities. I imagine pilgrims might also receive a frosty reception on some occasions, as has happened to a friend of mine who recently completed his walk from Gijón to Muxia.
 

simonpc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nc 2019
When they say they allow transit, it means not stopping to stay overnight. It's usually aimed at car, train or bus travellers. However, the case of pilgrims on Camino is not specifically addressed, a lot will depend on the particular autonomous region or municipal area you are travelling through and their particular approach to enforcement of the restrictions. I live in Spain and I've been living this since the start, it's very confusing because of the decentralised government structure of Spain. Good luck, keep smiling, stay safe and try not to alarm the locals, some of whom have not been impressed by travellers coming in from Madrid or other big cities. I imagine pilgrims might also receive a frosty reception on some occasions, as has happened to a friend of mine who recently completed his walk from Gijón to Muxia.
yes is meant as travel across the affected region without stopping in between.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
This may be relevant: On Monday the mayor of Santiago de Compostela, Xosé Sánchez Bugallo, was asked about the situation of pilgrims if a restriction on movement will be introduced for Galicia. Here's the reply:

PILGRIM MOBILITY
Asked whether a restriction of movement will affect the flow of pilgrims, Bugallo said he did not know if the movement of walking pilgrims will be prohibited in the event that Galicia decrees a lockdown perimeter for its territory [...].
He expressed his doubts that the rule allowing transit - as it would be the case for carriers [=transportistas ... I guess that means buses and taxis] - will be applicable to pilgrims on the Camino. "I have quite a few doubts, I hope that this will be clarified," he said.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Perhaps @Pelegrin and @Pingüigrino can clarify, but when I see the word transportistas I think of truck drivers and delivery trucks, not buses and trains. But hopefully a native Spaniard can confirm.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Perhaps @Pelegrin and @Pingüigrino can clarify, but when I see the word transportistas I think of truck drivers and delivery trucks, not buses and trains. But hopefully a native Spaniard can confirm.
Yes. You are right, transportista is for trucks not for buses or trains.
 

Vagabond Vieiras

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés and Norte many times all the way and in parts
Hi, I was informed yesterday, by a friend who is a couple of days ahead of me (I'm in Ponferrada), that pilgrims already en route can continue. Can anyone confirm this? I have one more region to enter, Galicia, will this be allowed?
Please keep your answers to facts, not to whether I should be here or not. When I started, things were OK.
If not allowed, I obviously need to find out what I should do. If at all possible, I would like to carry on, not least because I am raising money for MsF.
We see plenty of pilgrims passing by our place here in La Portela ( after Ponferrada and just before the climb to O’ Cebreiro ) I have asked many of them over the last few days about their walk. None have mentioned ever having been stopped or asked anything. I think if you are already walking... don’t stop until the authorities tell you to!
 

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Frances, 2017 Frances, 2019 Frances
Take care out there and buen Camino.
Soo,
Remember why your walking.
Smell the autumn air.
Put one foot in front of the other.
And give your Camino over to the Lords of the Universe.

I reccomend this to all Pilgrims...Covid times or not.
Have faith in the integrity of your cause.

Peace be with you.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Pilgrims are still out there pilgrimming. I saw three today, in the heart of locked-down Castilla y Leon. There are still albergues open, but by the end of the month it's going to get "complicated," at least on the meseta.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
I arrived yesterday, too late for a Compostela but will go to the pilgrim office this morning. I hope it will be open. Planning à route back was difficult but I can fly out on Monday
Congrats, Sue, you made it! Hope it was still enjoyable at the end even if it was stressful not knowing what to expect with the new restrictions and closures. Take care and rest well in Santiago.
 

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
Hooray, congratulations. I hope the worrisome conditions did not rob you of the joy of arriving at the apostle's tomb!
Not at all, it has been a wonderful adventure and I visited the tomb of Saint James this morning. There was more access today than when I arrived by car about a year ago, a spiritual moment.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Not at all, it has been a wonderful adventure and I visited the tomb of Saint James this morning. There was more access today than when I arrived by car about a year ago, a spiritual moment.
Congratulations and a safe journey home!
 

Crown411

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018) completed ,Via Francigena (2019) Lucca to Rome, Camino Frances (2020) in prog.
Soo,
Remember why your walking.
Smell the autumn air.
Put one foot in front of the other.
And give your Camino over to the Lords of the Universe.

I reccomend this to all Pilgrims...Covid times or not.
Have faith in the integrity of your cause.

Peace be with you.
Nailed it. Too easy to focus on logistics and forget why you are there and what you are escaping from.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Sue, it is so good to read your message. (I also raised funds for MSF some years ago, but much more easily - a sale of my pottery, in the front room! ) I was too afraid to raise funds among my friends when I went to walk the CF, for fear I would not make it... so: applause by the bucketful. Safe trip home, and bask in the satisfaction.
 

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
You will not be allowed to enter Galicia as of 2pm Friday October 30th until November 9th.
Castilla y León is confining, no entering or leaving.
This is news from an hour ago and is official.
The time was changed to 23:00, but we kept walking and managed by 23:45, phew! Resting 3 nights in Santiago after was very welcome, despite the rain.
 

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
Congrats, Sue, you made it! Hope it was still enjoyable at the end even if it was stressful not knowing what to expect with the new restrictions and closures. Take care and rest well in Santiago.
I travelled on and off with different people and had a fantastic camino; not always easy, but a memory to treasure.
 

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