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COVID Pandemic Camino Return to US

El Cascayal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Just a follow up from my recent mini Ourense to Santiago Camino coming from the US.
Most things albergues, restaurantes were open or opening. Flexibility and being open especially important during this time.
Most of the Pilgrims are Spanish, a smattering of Portuguese, Italian, French and Dutch.
Met no one from the US. Spaniards were a little shocked and delighted to see me. Most people wanted to share their pandemic stories. Very moving.
The requirements and the actual process to enter the US were nerve racking and filled with uncertainty. For US you need the antigen others in EU were required PCR. The prices all over the place and insane. Barajas has a 15 min antigen result for 25 e and are now fully booked for several weeks. In Santiago this past Friday it was a struggle to find a place to get the antigen price range 30-90 euros. PCR no availability on Friday and costs over 120-150 e. A Dutch pilgrim missed his flight home.
At Santiago airport they asked to see PCR, I showed them antigen and they moved me along. In Barajas Iberia Salud also asked for PCR and accepted antigen and stamped my boarding pass after requiring filling out a brief form with signature.
In the US they asked for nothing (???) and waved me in.
All of these are moving targets and change constantly. Buen Camino.
 
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El Cascayal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Yes, at the airport. Here is website that allow you to make appointment and has all the information.
 

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LTfit

Veteran Member
Just a follow up from my recent mini Ourense to Santiago Camino coming from the US.
Most things albergues, restaurantes were open or opening. Flexibility and being open especially important during this time.
Most of the Pilgrims are Spanish, a smattering of Portuguese, Italian, French and Dutch.
Met no one from the US. Spaniards were a little shocked and delighted to see me. Most people wanted to share their pandemic stories. Very moving.
The requirements and the actual process to enter the US were nerve racking and filled with uncertainty. For US you need the antigen others in EU were required PCR. The prices all over the place and insane. Barajas has a 15 min antigen result for 25 e and are now fully booked for several weeks. In Santiago this past Friday it was a struggle to find a place to get the antigen price range 30-90 euros. PCR no availability on Friday and costs over 120-150 e. A Dutch pilgrim missed his flight home.
At Santiago airport they asked to see PCR, I showed them antigen and they moved me along. In Barajas Iberia Salud also asked for PCR and accepted antigen and stamped my boarding pass after requiring filling out a brief form with signature.
In the US they asked for nothing (???) and waved me in.
All of these are moving targets and change constantly. Buen Camino.
I talked to that Dutch pilgrim in San Martin Pinario Friday morning. By chance I heard him talking to the staff attemping to organize a test for him. I tried to help him out as we were booked on the same flight out and I had had my PCR test done the previous morning for €100 at Laboratoria Clínica Compostela. I assumed it didn't work out for him since I didn't see him on the plane.
Lesson: book a PCR test if needed a day in advance!
 
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El Cascayal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I talked to that Dutch pilgrim in San Martin Pinario Friday morning. By chance I heard him talking to the staff attemping to organize a test for him. I tried to help him out as we were booked on the same flight out and I had had my PCR test done the previous morning for €100 at Laboratoria Clínica Compostela. I assumed it didn't work out for him since I didn't see him on the plane.
Lesson: book a PCR test if needed a day in advance!
LTFIT, What a small 🌎. Wish we could have met. I was there at the counter at 8 am on Friday as well, helping translate for him. They eventually found him a place that afternoon for 120€ (btw thanks for this symbol) he was able to leave on Saturday, I saw him at breakfast , he was breathing a sigh of relief.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
LTFIT, What a small 🌎. Wish we could have met. I was there at the counter at 8 am on Friday as well, helping translate for him. They eventually found him a place that afternoon for 120€ (btw thanks for this symbol) he was able to leave on Saturday, I saw him at breakfast , he was breathing a sigh of relief.
What a small world indeed! We probably passed each other in the hall without knowing it!
 

Turigrino

Carpe Diem
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
I talked to that Dutch pilgrim in San Martin Pinario Friday morning. By chance I heard him talking to the staff attemping to organize a test for him.
Why did he have to take a test flying from Spain to The Netherlands? Because he wasn't fully vaccinated?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Just a follow up from my recent mini Ourense to Santiago Camino coming from the US.
Most things albergues, restaurantes were open or opening. Flexibility and being open especially important during this time.
Most of the Pilgrims are Spanish, a smattering of Portuguese, Italian, French and Dutch.
Met no one from the US. Spaniards were a little shocked and delighted to see me. Most people wanted to share their pandemic stories. Very moving.
The requirements and the actual process to enter the US were nerve racking and filled with uncertainty. For US you need the antigen others in EU were required PCR. The prices all over the place and insane. Barajas has a 15 min antigen result for 25 e and are now fully booked for several weeks. In Santiago this past Friday it was a struggle to find a place to get the antigen price range 30-90 euros. PCR no availability on Friday and costs over 120-150 e. A Dutch pilgrim missed his flight home.
At Santiago airport they asked to see PCR, I showed them antigen and they moved me along. In Barajas Iberia Salud also asked for PCR and accepted antigen and stamped my boarding pass after requiring filling out a brief form with signature.
In the US they asked for nothing (???) and waved me in.
All of these are moving targets and change constantly. Buen Camino.
I don’t really understand ‘antigen?’ If you’ve had the vaccination do you need to get this test to return to the US?
 
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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 don’t really understand ‘antigen?’ If you’ve had the vaccination do you need to get this test to return to the US?
Currently, yes you need a negative Covid test, either PCR or antigen before you can board a flight to the US.

 

El Cascayal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I don’t really understand ‘antigen?’ If you’ve had the vaccination do you need to get this test to return to the US?
Just like @trecile said, even when fully vaccinated to enter the US you must show a negative antigen test (which is pretty much a garbage test) or a PCR which is much more expensive and takes longer to process. It blew my mind that US immigration on my return didn’t ask for it. What is certain is that rules will be constantly changing. If one can’t bear that kind of stress, perhaps waiting as things settle more will let you prolong the Camino well-being.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
even when fully vaccinated to enter the US you must show a negative antigen test (which is pretty much a garbage test) or a PCR which is much more expensive and takes longer to process. It blew my mind that US immigration on my return didn’t ask for it.
Maybe they don't ask for it at US immigration because you wouldn't have been able to board the plane without it?
 

MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
We had to have a negative PCR test to enter The Netherlands, even if fully vaccinated (as I am).
(Sorry @MinaKamina I didn't see your response before posting mine)

Heh. It won't hurt to repeat this every once in a while.

A full vaccination is not a free pass, although some seem to think that it is.

you still can get infected
.... and ill with covid
you may carry an unknown variant of the virus across the ocean
you still can pass the virus on to others

All these risks are smaller with a full vaccination, but they exist.
Hence testing, testing and testing.
 
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Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Year of past OR future Camino
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. Hoping to go back in 2022.
FWIW we used this site to look up a clinic in Logroño that can do rapid antigen tests for 40€.

We fly out Friday so our testing window opens Tuesday. I went to the clinic today to confirm that I had understood. They told me that we can pay through the website or in cash as we prefer. They are very busy but they were able to get me an appointment on my desired day, and there are several clinics in Logroño (more in larger cities).

 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I wondered about that, however isn’t strange that they shift the responsibility to the airline?
There are lots of things that airlines already need to check for, such as if people have the correct visas to fly to their destinations. Airlines need to check these things, because if they let a passenger on the plane without the correct documentation to enter a country, and the passenger is turned away, then the airline has to fly them home again. And I think that not just the US government, but the airlines want to make sure that people infected with Covid aren't on their planes.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I wondered about that, however isn’t strange that they shift the responsibility to the airline?
It was Vueling who verified that I had a negative PCR test result before boarding. On the Amsterdam side (Europa Air which is also Spanish) they did not ask for a result. When I arrived in Madrid they only wanted the QR code from the health form.
 
Last edited:
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Glamgrrl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Travel318
Heh. It won't hurt to repeat this every once in a while.

A full vaccination is not a free pass, although some seem to think that it is.

you still can get infected
.... and ill with covid
you may carry an unknown variant of the virus across the ocean
you still can pass the virus on to others

All these risks are smaller with a full vaccination, but they exist.
Hence testing, testing and testing.
To your point. I’m fully vaccinated US citizen and had to have PCR test within 72 hr window to fly to Hawaii, upload PDF to an app and show QR code and get prechwck bracelet before boarding. We were check at exit. Testing keeps all safe but starting in July, many testing stations are reducing size, hours and also closing down (we asked at our local station).
 
D

Deleted member 67338

Guest
Heh. It won't hurt to repeat this every once in a while.

A full vaccination is not a free pass, although some seem to think that it is.

you still can get infected
.... and ill with covid
you may carry an unknown variant of the virus across the ocean
you still can pass the virus on to others

All these risks are smaller with a full vaccination, but they exist.
Hence testing, testing and testing.
Well said mate, absolutely nailed it
 

Mr.Ag75

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012
Camino Frances 2018
Via de la Plata 2021
Just a follow up from my recent mini Ourense to Santiago Camino coming from the US.
Most things albergues, restaurantes were open or opening. Flexibility and being open especially important during this time.
Most of the Pilgrims are Spanish, a smattering of Portuguese, Italian, French and Dutch.
Met no one from the US. Spaniards were a little shocked and delighted to see me. Most people wanted to share their pandemic stories. Very moving.
The requirements and the actual process to enter the US were nerve racking and filled with uncertainty. For US you need the antigen others in EU were required PCR. The prices all over the place and insane. Barajas has a 15 min antigen result for 25 e and are now fully booked for several weeks. In Santiago this past Friday it was a struggle to find a place to get the antigen price range 30-90 euros. PCR no availability on Friday and costs over 120-150 e. A Dutch pilgrim missed his flight home.
At Santiago airport they asked to see PCR, I showed them antigen and they moved me along. In Barajas Iberia Salud also asked for PCR and accepted antigen and stamped my boarding pass after requiring filling out a brief form with signature.
In the US they asked for nothing (???) and waved me in.
All of these are moving targets and change constantly. Buen Camino.
Quick question:
Please define: . PCR
. Antigen
Guess I’m a bit out of the loop on this stuff.
planning Mid-August step-off for VDLP
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Camino Maps
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John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.

Don's Brother

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
Just a follow up from my recent mini Ourense to Santiago Camino coming from the US.
Most things albergues, restaurantes were open or opening. Flexibility and being open especially important during this time.
Most of the Pilgrims are Spanish, a smattering of Portuguese, Italian, French and Dutch.
Met no one from the US. Spaniards were a little shocked and delighted to see me. Most people wanted to share their pandemic stories. Very moving.
The requirements and the actual process to enter the US were nerve racking and filled with uncertainty. For US you need the antigen others in EU were required PCR. The prices all over the place and insane. Barajas has a 15 min antigen result for 25 e and are now fully booked for several weeks. In Santiago this past Friday it was a struggle to find a place to get the antigen price range 30-90 euros. PCR no availability on Friday and costs over 120-150 e. A Dutch pilgrim missed his flight home.
At Santiago airport they asked to see PCR, I showed them antigen and they moved me along. In Barajas Iberia Salud also asked for PCR and accepted antigen and stamped my boarding pass after requiring filling out a brief form with signature.
In the US they asked for nothing (???) and waved me in.
All of these are moving targets and change constantly. Buen Camino.
Thank you for this information. Does a US citizen need to supply a negative COVID test in order to board a plane in Santiago to fly to Madrid? I had planned to wait and get the test at Barajas before flying back to the US from Madrid.
 

Brooklyn

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 - Pamplona to Burgos
2017 - Leon to Santiago
Can anyone speak to your experience getting the test at the Madrid airport? Specifically - did they take you on time and with the 15 min test - is it really 15 min? I'm just trying to figure out how much time to allocate... I'll probably have to get from T4 to T1 as well to catch an 11:15 flight - on a Sunday - when would you recommend scheduling the test that morning?
 

El Cascayal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
@ Don’s Brother, @Brooklyn: As of now, a US citizen needs a negative Covid test to fly back to the US. Rapid antigen is acceptable and is way cheaper than PCR must be done within 3 d margin. All the slots at Barajas are filled for the next couple of weeks. Currently NOT an option to get tested at Madrid airport. To fly from Santiago to Madrid or elsewhere within Spain no Covid test required.
 

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