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When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears

St Jean Pied de Port and COVID

Craig Nolan

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de Frances 13/09/2017 ->
Hi all,

So I am taking train from Barcelona to Pamplona then hoping to take a bus to SJPP. As this is crossing a border between Spain/France will there be COVID/PCR checks needed?

I have had 2 x Pfizer vaccinations in Spain.

If i cannot get to SJPP i will start from Roncasvalles.

Your help as always appreciated in advance.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2012
Ach, come on. I think you're living in Barcelona(?) You'll have knowledge of the current COVID rules for Catalonia and for Spain. You're living within the Schengen Travel Zone so you're presumably aware of the freedom of movement rules, current COVID requirements for Schengen residents and you'll have access to the daily News in Catalonia which most of us on this forum don't have.

And anyway why not just start your pilgrimage to the bones of Santiago or to the End of the World from Pamplona? The Camino does not start in SJpdlP, never has, never will.
 

adam lapp

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances June 2015
Frances July 2016
Frances May 2017
Portugues March 2018
Frances April 2018
I would be curious to hear answers to this as well. I am taking a taxi...i haven't heard any border crossing check points on this forum yet.
 

Sven Kaven

writer, photographer and mindfulness teacher
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi all,

So I am taking train from Barcelona to Pamplona then hoping to take a bus to SJPP. As this is crossing a border between Spain/France will there be COVID/PCR checks needed?

I have had 2 x Pfizer vaccinations in Spain.

If i cannot get to SJPP i will start from Roncasvalles.

Your help as always appreciated in advance.
Hey Craig, why not start your pilgrimage from Barcelona instead?

Sven :)
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Hi @Craig Nolan and @adam lapp. Although you didn't formulate it so clearly I know in my heart that you are not only curious about border checks you also want to make sure that you are fully informed about current public health related rules so that you can comply 100%.

If you are fully vaccinated there are no issues in either direction, whether Spain->France or France->Spain.

If you are not vaccinated my unsolicited advice would be to get fully vaccinated, or to stay at home or to at least inform yourself carefully about the current and ever changing rules of the health authorities on both sides of the border and to fully comply, no matter whether anyone will check you or not. I recommend the relevant official Spanish and French websites.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Maybe the moderators ought to formulate a standard reply, something along the following lines for travelling between Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland, i.e. the usual Camino travel question countries:
  • If you are fully vaccinated and have an EU Digital Covid Certificate, make sure that you have downloaded it onto your mobile phone and print out one or two copies and put them in a plastic folder for protection and ease of use. You'll be ok as far as border and police control, if any, and access to beds, food and transportation is concerned.

  • If you are fully vaccinated and don't have an EU Digital Covid Certificate, we don't know how to get one. Take what you have in the way of vaccination proof. You'll probably be ok as far as border and police control, if any, and access to beds, food and transportation is concerned.

  • If you are not vaccinated you are on your own. Stay away or get the current info that applies to your specific situation from the government website of the country you want to travel to and comply 100%. Be prepared that more and more restrictions may apply to you before, during and after your trip in August 2021 and possibly also in September 2021.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
There are currently no requirements to provide Covid certification for local short distance travel over the land border between Spain and France / Roncesvalles and SJPP.

The French government is seeking to implement such certifications for long-distance journeys, but this will not affect those crossing that particular border on foot, bike, local bus, or taxi.

The requirements that Kathar1na has described principally concern travel between the two countries by air or by sea, and depending on the changing situation, travellers can occasionally be stopped at the border on long-distance trains as well.

Even so, with your double jab, if you bring your certification of it with you, this will let you pass any unlikely challenge that might be asked of you.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Up to date and still valid: Orden SND/292/2021, de 26 de marzo, por la que se establecen medidas de control sanitario a las personas procedentes de Francia que llegan a España por vía terrestre. This executive order concerns only the "persons arriving by land from France in Spain". It must be read in combination with the weekly list published on the SpTH website where they inform about what Spain currently (= during this week) defines as risk areas in France, if any.

Remember: The weekly list on the SpTH website changes from week to week and so do the French regions that are defined by the Spanish authorities as the risk areas where the unvaccinated pilgrim comes from and arrives in Spain as a still unvaccinated pilgrim ...

 
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Plato

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Ach, come on. I think you're living in Barcelona(?) You'll have knowledge of the current COVID rules for Catalonia and for Spain. You're living within the Schengen Travel Zone so you're presumably aware of the freedom of movement rules, current COVID requirements for Schengen residents and you'll have access to the daily News in Catalonia which most of us on this forum don't have.

And anyway why not just start your pilgrimage to the bones of Santiago or to the End of the World from Pamplona? The Camino does not start in SJpdlP, never has, never will.
A judgemental patronising reply if ever there was one
 
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Gerard Hazelebach

Gerard Hazelebach
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPdP - Santiago) September 2014
"The Peace Walk” (Vienna - Venice) August 2015
Ach, come on. I think you're living in Barcelona(?) You'll have knowledge of the current COVID rules for Catalonia and for Spain. You're living within the Schengen Travel Zone so you're presumably aware of the freedom of movement rules, current COVID requirements for Schengen residents and you'll have access to the daily News in Catalonia which most of us on this forum don't have.

And anyway why not just start your pilgrimage to the bones of Santiago or to the End of the World from Pamplona? The Camino does not start in SJpdlP, never has, never will.
Why are you, as “a moderator”, such an ”asshole” to place a comment like this?
 
Past OR future Camino
2012
Why are you, as “a moderator”, such an ”asshole” to place a comment like this?
Hey, I was an "asshole" long before I was a Moderator. Old habits take a long time to die.

Meanwhile I was wondering which of several comments in that post you were having most trouble with?
 
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Gerard Hazelebach

Gerard Hazelebach
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPdP - Santiago) September 2014
"The Peace Walk” (Vienna - Venice) August 2015
Hey, I was an "asshole" long before I was a Moderator. Old habits take a long time to die.

Meanwhile I was wondering which of several comments in that post you were having most trouble with?
Keep on wondering.
 
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That said, Getting back to the original posting. COVID restrictions are changing by the day. If you have plane tickets...check with your air carrier. Other modes of transport...do the same. Checking daily will only increase your anxiety. When you are a week out begin the final countdown.
I've been planning this Camino since March 2021. I am prepared for a go...don't go.
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Buen "whatever comes" Camino
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Bogong

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
First, March 2014
I had heard that Astra Zeneca certification from outside the EU is not accepted by EU countries. Can someone point to a definitive statement on this?

De colores

Bogong
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
If people were being stopped at the land border at SJPP/Roncesvalles, we would be hearing about it. It remains generally true that those within 30K of an internal border between EU countries can cross those borders by land travel without Covid requirements, and crossings on foot in particular seem not to be subjected to them in practice, though that was not necessarily the case 6 months ago.

Also, the Spanish law instituting the rules for travel from France are based on incidence of infection region by region, and the Pyrénées-Atlantiques are below the threshold for the stricter requirements, albeit above those of no requirements at all.

And any potential difficulties for the pop over the border could be in the Spain to France direction, whereas France is requiring certification only for long-distance travel.

All of which is irrelevant to the OP in his situation given that he is double jabbed, so that these abstract questions are not very pertinent to his actual requests.

His situation is that he could make it to SJPP no problems, and discussing the general situation of unvaccinated persons towards international borders can only confuse him.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I always forget to mention this website: Travel Safe Spain, run by the official Spanish Tourism Agency: https://travelsafe.spain.info/en/ . I must remember this in future. Go there when you need up-to-date information. Below is a screenshot of today. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is located in the French region that is called Nouvelle Aquitaine.

France to Spain.jpg
 

Corned Beef

Member
Past OR future Camino
1340
From another thread, the OP lives in Barcelona; is taking his bike in a bag on the train to Pamplona, and is cycling to SJPP (which route not stated).

After an overnight stay, he'll do the reverse.

Seems like a normal cycling trip which is somewhat made more complex by a border and COVID. But as @JabbaPapa has pointed out, it is unlikely to trigger a response from any official on either side of the border.
 

AidanLing

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Just incase it helps anyone else looking to get from Pamplona to Saint Jean, today (Sunday the 1st of August) I took the bus and there were no checks of tests or vaccination passports or anything. Just a quick check of your ticket and that was it.

There didn't seem to be any checks going over the border to cyclists or cars either, so at least this way the movement is still quite open.

Obviously this was just my experience and things are ever changing, but hopefully this information will help the worriers like me about the current situation and getting to Saint Jean from Spain.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Even the Pilgrims Office in SJPP posted the current rules for entry into Spain on their Facebook page three days ago. Toute entrée sur le territoire espagnol en provenance d’une région à risque par voie aérienne (aéroports), maritime (ports) ou terrestre est soumise à la présentation de l’un de ces documents, sous format numérique ou papier, ... followed by the by now familiar list: 1. Proof of vaccination or 2. Proof of negative test if not vaccinated or 3. Proof of recovery or 4. EU DCC. They posted this https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays-destination/espagne/?

Of course someone can argue that if there is nobody to whom I can present my document I don't have to have it ... or if I am already in Spain, then go to France and go back to Spain, this doesn't concern me ... I am not expressing an opinion about this. 😑
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
You're right Kathar1na that someone travelling from an area or country subjected to the restrictions in question to SJPP, and then hiking to Roncesvalles, would need to obey those restrictions ; else for example stay in SJPP or area for sufficient time to no longer be subjected to them.

This is still not the situation of the OP though, with his double jab and Spanish origin.
 

Richard of York

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I had heard that Astra Zeneca certification from outside the EU is not accepted by EU countries. Can someone point to a definitive statement on this?

De colores

Bogong
It depends which batch



My first jab was made in India, but I downloaded the French anti-covid app, scanned my NHS codes and they uploaded fine. There is a warning saying "The authenticity of NHS certificates does not comply with EU standards. Work is in progress.", but I'm not worried about flying there on Friday.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Our AstraZeneca is manufactured here, in Australia. No-one mentions it. Perhaps because we are still not allowed out of the country without special permission.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Our AstraZeneca is manufactured here, in Australia. No-one mentions it. Perhaps because we are still not allowed out of the country without special permission.
FWIW, Spain does not require a vaccination proof from travellers from Australia. France has explicitly stated that they accept vaccination of foreign travellers by AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) and AstraZeneca (Covishield). Nobody checks where a vaccine is produced. Here is a link to AstraZeneca Australia about the brandname ""issue"":


A separate issue are the EU Digital Covid Certificates. AFAIK, they are designed to allow only data of vaccination by vaccines approved for use in the EU. But they are designed for people who got vaccinated in an EU country anyway.
 
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