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COVID The Municipalities of the Way present their Protocol of Action for the Shelters of pilgrims to the Covid-19

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Very helpful, especially in its elaboration of protocol for common areas. Thank you!
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Informative and crystal clear rules. Hope everyone will follow it to the letter. Really not the time for improvising.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
There is a strange parallel world in relation to opening up hospitality / tourism locations. Those with a vested interest in travel are pushing. Those with a vested interest in healthcare are resisting.

My family have worked in the tourism sector for decades. The company they work for is now planning to open their sites in early July but the locals have been lobbying their parliamentary representatives to resist the opening and a number of sites have had letters asking them to wait.

The local cite a fear that visitors will overwhelm local health services should they become ill. This is in the face of the fact the local businesses rely on visitor income which they appear to want to forgo due to the fear of the virus.

It's not going to be easy and I suspect there will be unpleasantness
 

Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
Preservation of life comes first. Camino second. I’m not going until the coast is clear and the overwhelming majority of people in Spain are in favor and saying yes with one voice. I put my wants and wishes last on the list.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Very helpful, especially in its elaboration of protocol for common areas. Thank you!
Very helpful if you can read it. My Spanish is at best, very basic. Just enough to get by on the camino but reading a document that size is outside my ability
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Very helpful if you can read it. My Spanish is at best, very basic. Just enough to get by on the camino but reading a document that size is outside my ability

Is there a way to somehow use google translate, for documents such as this?

Try this manual for hostels (albergues) which ICTE (Spanish Tourism Quality Institute) published a few weeks ago in English:
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
It is a tough time for us who run albergues.
Up on the Primitivo, where I staff the FICS/municipal in Grado, the other albergue owners (almost totally privately owned) have already released videos and lists of places that are opening, or are open already. They presumed to put our place on their list, with our phone numbers, even, for reservations! (we never accept reservations). Presumptuous.
We are a volunteer group that staffs a facility owned by the city of Grado -- a city hit very hard by the virus, which is being extremely careful about opening things too soon. No decisions have been made.
All I can do is wait while city fathers ponder... and try to stand firm while the albergue owners howl, and the pilgrims telephone, and the board of directors discusses "the symbolic value of remaining the sole donativo..." I wonder if I will have volunteer hospis who are young and healthy enough, and willing to take on this risky job if/when we do open the doors.
Meantime, I live in Castilla y Leon. Grado is in Asturias. It's illegal for me to even cross the frontier, to start rearranging furniture!
These are petty concerns in the grand scheme of caminos, I know. I don't want to close down while everyone else is open, and send a wrong message about the fragility of the donativo system.
But I have nightmares about another outbreak happening in Grado, and people falling sick at "our" albergue!
 

cete46

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
1st Camino 2003. Parts walked in 2007,2010,2012
Below is the document presented by the AMCS concerning the health protocol for hostels and pilgrims in Spain

https://www.amcsantiago.com/download/8109/
Thank you for this. I am a former Pilgrim & since 2004 have been running a gîte d’étape /chambre d’hôte on the GR 65 in France. Apart from a « protocol » from AirBnB on cleaning & disinfection there seems to be little guidance here. We are remaining closed until 1st August, mostly because our early season reservations have all been cancelled or postponed to autumn but also we are in an « at risk » group. Several of our accommodation owning friends are now open and a few are refusing to let people bring their own sleeping bags, a decision which we don’t fully comprehend. Let’s hope & pray for a healthy end to the 2020 season.
There is a strange parallel world in relation to opening up hospitality / tourism locations. Those with a vested interest in travel are pushing. Those with a vested interest in healthcare are resisting.

My family have worked in the tourism sector for decades. The company they work for is now planning to open their sites in early July but the locals have been lobbying their parliamentary representatives to resist the opening and a number of sites have had letters asking them to wait.

The local cite a fear that visitors will overwhelm local health services should they become ill. This is in the face of the fact the local businesses rely on visitor income which they appear to want to forgo due to the fear of the virus.

It's not going to be easy and I suspect there will be unpleasantness
I identify with your sentiments fully - in our case, our accommodation is in our family home, so for us « health » comes before « wealth ». Stay safe people.
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)
It is a tough time for us who run albergues.
Up on the Primitivo, where I staff the FICS/municipal in Grado, the other albergue owners (almost totally privately owned) have already released videos and lists of places that are opening, or are open already. They presumed to put our place on their list, with our phone numbers, even, for reservations! (we never accept reservations). Presumptuous.
We are a volunteer group that staffs a facility owned by the city of Grado -- a city hit very hard by the virus, which is being extremely careful about opening things too soon. No decisions have been made.
All I can do is wait while city fathers ponder... and try to stand firm while the albergue owners howl, and the pilgrims telephone, and the board of directors discusses "the symbolic value of remaining the sole donativo..." I wonder if I will have volunteer hospis who are young and healthy enough, and willing to take on this risky job if/when we do open the doors.
Meantime, I live in Castilla y Leon. Grado is in Asturias. It's illegal for me to even cross the frontier, to start rearranging furniture!
These are petty concerns in the grand scheme of caminos, I know. I don't want to close down while everyone else is open, and send a wrong message about the fragility of the donativo system.
But I have nightmares about another outbreak happening in Grado, and people falling sick at "our" albergue!

I hear your struggle, Rebekah. I know that, in life my regrets often have been when I moved too quickly. Wishing you strength for these times and courage. Shalom, sandi
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Is there a way to somehow use google translate, for documents such as this?
I dont think so. I can use google translate for most things like web site articles or online newspapers but it does not seem to work with PDFs
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)
I dont think so. I can use google translate for most things like web site articles or online newspapers but it does not seem to work with PDFs

I was advised to copy paste....I'll try that next opportunity.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I dont think so. I can use google translate for most things like web site articles or online newspapers but it does not seem to work with PDFs
I was able to copy text from the PDF and paste it into Google Translate. It's not as nicely formatted as the original, but gets the job done.

Here's the translation from the first section:

The staff and hospital staff must: PREMISE: The Camino is, and continues to be, a safe environment. Both in his journey through the urban environment and in his essential part of contact with Nature, it is basically the individual responsibility of the pilgrim that will allow him to continue being it. EXCEPTIONAL MEASURES As exceptional measures in the face of the health crisis we are experiencing, pilgrims are advised during their period of march: 1 Maintain measures of social distancing, both on the Camino and when passing through towns and shelters. 2 Wear masks, either surgical or if possible with FFP2 protection level without valve, and latex or nitrile gloves, which should be put on in case of contact with other pilgrims, neighbors or making use of the services of the Camino, always maintaining the safety distance. 3 Extreme personal hygiene, with frequent use of hand soap and hydroalcoholic solution after touching surfaces susceptible to transmitting the virus, especially those where it has proven to be more persistent, such as metal and plastic, especially at low temperatures . 4 Carry your own sleeping bag and hydro-alcoholic gel for personal use, as well as a sufficient supply of masks and gloves to the next pharmacy-equipped nucleus. 5 Individual responsibility must avoid irresponsible actions such as spitting on the floor, coughing without taking the appropriate measures, or throwing cigarette butts, discarded gloves or facemasks or garbage out of the bins or containers arranged for this purpose. In this regard, environmental damage is compounded by an easily avoidable risk for others, for example, by applying the principles of the “A clean step” campaign. 6 Be especially careful with cleaning in fountains and rest areas, which must be periodically sanitized.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
And with a little formatting, it's easier to read though some of the translations are a bit inexact:


The staff and hospital staff must:

PREMISE: The Camino is, and continues to be, a safe environment. Both in his journey through the urban environment and in his essential part of contact with Nature, it is basically the individual responsibility of the pilgrim that will allow him to continue being it.

EXCEPTIONAL MEASURES
As exceptional measures in the face of the health crisis we are experiencing, pilgrims are advised during their period of march:

1 Maintain measures of social distancing, both on the Camino and when passing through towns and shelters.​
2 Wear masks, either surgical or if possible with FFP2 protection level without valve, and latex or nitrile gloves, which should be put on in case of contact with other pilgrims, neighbors or making use of the services of the Camino, always maintaining the safety distance.​
3 Extreme personal hygiene, with frequent use of hand soap and hydroalcoholic solution after touching surfaces susceptible to transmitting the virus, especially those where it has proven to be more persistent, such as metal and plastic, especially at low temperatures .​
4 Carry your own sleeping bag and hydro-alcoholic gel for personal use, as well as a sufficient supply of masks and gloves to the next pharmacy-equipped nucleus.​
5 Individual responsibility must avoid irresponsible actions such as spitting on the floor, coughing without taking the appropriate measures, or throwing cigarette butts, discarded gloves or facemasks or garbage out of the bins or containers arranged for this purpose. In this regard, environmental damage is compounded by an easily avoidable risk for others, for example, by applying the principles of the “A clean step” campaign.​
6 Be especially careful with cleaning in fountains and rest areas, which must be periodically sanitized.​
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
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
I dont think so. I can use google translate for most things like web site articles or online newspapers but it does not seem to work with PDFs
Use this tool:

 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Use this tool:

Great tool! I translated the original minus the cover pages.
 

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alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
I skimmed the English “Hostels Guidelines”. But much reads like the generalized Project Management Templates I used to deal with. Written by people of good faith who had little actual experience with the work and processes of front line workers—ie authorship by health care management who had never worked as a nurses-aide or even shadowed them for a few days, writing policies for nurses aides to follow.

Heartbreaking work and changes will need to be made to get the camino to work on the new normal.

And even without the pandemic threat, the Camino experience is best with the existence of good uniform collective action. Pilgrims seem unawares on little collective ‘goods’ as: early morning risings, cleaning up after themselves, treating their gear with permethrin insecticide, mistaking donativo as ‘free’, carrying trash to a town receptacle instead of leaving it trailside, etc, etc.

The consequences of failed collective action on this pandemic are much more severe than a plastic bottle left trailside!!

And we are setting rules and policies with minimal information—less than 200 days since start of pandemic. I noticed that a breakdown of covid on the Diamond Princess (3711 passengers and crew) that of 712 infected, 410 had no symptoms when tested (positive) and 331 remained asymptomatic. Yet we still delude ourselves to believing screening by temperature with a non-contact thermometer will protect us from the sick.

We have no accepted treatment.

We have no vaccine.

The health experts arguments seem to be losing to those who fear the economic crisis shutdown brings on. But it looks to me like the only currently effective tools are hygiene and social distancing-both difficult everywhere on a Camino but nearly impossible in an albergue.

And on Diamond Princess 1 in 9 needed some sort of treatment; 1 in 18 had to go to ICU, an 1 in 60 died. Do France/Spain have the medical capacity for this. And appears to now be an uninsurable risk.

Am I missing something when I view that we are making critical decisions and policy on little information with huge downside risks when we are wrong?

Stay well.
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
Informative and crystal clear rules. Hope everyone will follow it to the letter. Really not the time for improvising.
This sounds crazy.. Where is the Camino spirit? Impossible to cook together? Etc.. Stop paranoïa. If government open frontiers, it means the risk very low. Nothing prevents you, however to take additional precaution. Or you can book individual rooms with private bathroom and eat ALONE into your room. Or camping?
No, these guidelines were made by people that believe that the stranger, the Pilgrim will bring covid.. In crisis one's need to find somebody to punish.. Better to wait they realize that pelgrim is safe. Because when you walk 20 km min, no matter is the weather, you are in good shape,.. i
IMO.
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
I skimmed the English “Hostels Guidelines”. But much reads like the generalized Project Management Templates I used to deal with. Written by people of good faith who had little actual experience with the work and processes of front line workers—ie authorship by health care management who had never worked as a nurses-aide or even shadowed them for a few days, writing policies for nurses aides to follow.

Heartbreaking work and changes will need to be made to get the camino to work on the new normal.

And even without the pandemic threat, the Camino experience is best with the existence of good uniform collective action. Pilgrims seem unawares on little collective ‘goods’ as: early morning risings, cleaning up after themselves, treating their gear with permethrin insecticide, mistaking donativo as ‘free’, carrying trash to a town receptacle instead of leaving it trailside, etc, etc.

The consequences of failed collective action on this pandemic are much more severe than a plastic bottle left trailside!!

And we are setting rules and policies with minimal information—less than 200 days since start of pandemic. I noticed that a breakdown of covid on the Diamond Princess (3711 passengers and crew) that of 712 infected, 410 had no symptoms when tested (positive) and 331 remained asymptomatic. Yet we still delude ourselves to believing screening by temperature with a non-contact thermometer will protect us from the sick.

We have no accepted treatment.

We have no vaccine.

The health experts arguments seem to be losing to those who fear the economic crisis shutdown brings on. But it looks to me like the only currently effective tools are hygiene and social distancing-both difficult everywhere on a Camino but nearly impossible in an albergue.

And on Diamond Princess 1 in 9 needed some sort of treatment; 1 in 18 had to go to ICU, an 1 in 60 died. Do France/Spain have the medical capacity for this. And appears to now be an uninsurable risk.

Am I missing something when I view that we are making critical decisions and policy on little information with huge downside risks when we are wrong?

Stay well.
I guess, yes. Agree no vaccine, no medication. This will be the case up to 2022? Are we going to stay home? Your best protection is yourself. Virus level is low ( government decision) but not void. According to WTO, the best protection is hygiene. Not masks.. However, weak persons should wear one as a conservative measure. There is additional point not sufficiently raised. Should you get sick , how the Albergue is going to handle you. You need private room during 14 days before you can go. Nobody discuss that.. It is a very important point. Stay safe, Camino will be there tomorrow
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I skimmed the English “Hostels Guidelines”. But much reads like the generalized Project Management Templates I used to deal with. Written by people of good faith who had little actual experience with the work and processes of front line workers—ie authorship by health care management who had never worked as a nurses-aide or even shadowed them for a few days, writing policies for nurses aides to follow.

Heartbreaking work and changes will need to be made to get the camino to work on the new normal.

And even without the pandemic threat, the Camino experience is best with the existence of good uniform collective action. Pilgrims seem unawares on little collective ‘goods’ as: early morning risings, cleaning up after themselves, treating their gear with permethrin insecticide, mistaking donativo as ‘free’, carrying trash to a town receptacle instead of leaving it trailside, etc, etc.

The consequences of failed collective action on this pandemic are much more severe than a plastic bottle left trailside!!

And we are setting rules and policies with minimal information—less than 200 days since start of pandemic. I noticed that a breakdown of covid on the Diamond Princess (3711 passengers and crew) that of 712 infected, 410 had no symptoms when tested (positive) and 331 remained asymptomatic. Yet we still delude ourselves to believing screening by temperature with a non-contact thermometer will protect us from the sick.

We have no accepted treatment.

We have no vaccine.

The health experts arguments seem to be losing to those who fear the economic crisis shutdown brings on. But it looks to me like the only currently effective tools are hygiene and social distancing-both difficult everywhere on a Camino but nearly impossible in an albergue.

And on Diamond Princess 1 in 9 needed some sort of treatment; 1 in 18 had to go to ICU, an 1 in 60 died. Do France/Spain have the medical capacity for this. And appears to now be an uninsurable risk.

Am I missing something when I view that we are making critical decisions and policy on little information with huge downside risks when we are wrong?

Stay well.

The good news is, that the Diamond Princess is not a good analogy for the present day with what is now taking place. Since that time much has changed from the diseases epidemiology, to our knowledge base and research, to the transmission rates and identified comorbidities affecting mortality as well as morbidity outcomes.

An example of this is how there have been recent speculations by researchers as to things like: are there actual changes to the 'potency' of the virus itself, in terms of whether or not it is becoming less lethal and less transmissible contrary to earlier speculations of it becoming stronger. Is this going to be a seasonal illness, like influenza. Will it simply become like many viruses which develop into a symbiotic organism with no affects on humans.

These questions and speculations indicate that the basic description of the virus itself is pretty well understood, so that now we can begin quickly identifying significant viral changes.

At the time of the Diamond Princess, there was little awareness that a COVID-19 minefield lay in wait. Life aboard proceeded as normal. It was only AFTER entering the minefield and explosions mangled people that awareness of the danger became apparent. What was then, vs what we know now is quite different.

There are many things are different, about both the virus and the epidemiology of the disease, from the time of the Diamond Princess, that outside of the basic pathophysiology of the viral illness itself, many things have changed as COVID-19 has worked its way through the world populations.

I have been looking at the changes to albergues that have come online, and they are consistent with good infection control and cross contamination prevention for this virus.

In my mind, the primary question is whether or not Pilgrims will decide to follow and comply with required changes. . . .not whether the rules and guidelines themselves will be adequate.

I will argue that currently, a Pilgrim's willing compliance to observe and follow protective protocols is at a different place, than back at the time of passengers onboard Diamond Princess. Back then, there was blatant ignorance about COVID-19 as a risk, along with an absence of knowledge and implementation of infection disease protections. THAT is what created the outcome on the boat.

Today, among those who are wanting to be on Camino, there is likely a well-defined base of knowledge about protective protocols. And that is coupled together with a healthy and positive level of anxiety about COVID-19 that makes compliance likely.

The role and weaknesses of a vaccine as being the primary tool for COVID-19 strategy for traveling has been discussed several times before so I won't rehash it again. I do think that the current changes being proposed, and which will be fine-tuned before being released in final form for implementation by albergues, will be sufficient when the time comes for Pilgrims to return to Camino with or without vaccinations.

Tourism may also require testing with results no older than 72 hours prior to boarding a flight. That is being currently looked at, and Iceland already looks like it is going to require it for entering travelers. So in addition to temperature scans, other tools may be put in place for entering Pilgrims coming to Europe.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
As I was skimming through the latest news, this little nugget popped up:

WHO: Asymptomatic COVID-19 spread deemed ‘rare’

If this proven to be the case, then what will be a very low transmission risk with existing protocols, and new ones for albergues, will be even more effective. Symptomatic individuals can be isolated, during any stage of travel, for quick medical follow-up with testing.
 
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D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Do you have information about this phenomenon?

As a mutational construct or as a specific example?

As an example, from: GB virus C: the good boy virus? Trends Microbiol 20:124–130. doi:10.1016/j.tim.2012.01.004.

"Of humans infected with GB virus C (GBV-C), also known as hepatitis G virus, do not show any clinical symptoms. However, HIV-positive patients who also have GBV-C show slower disease progression. Several effects of GBV-C on HIV have been shown in clinical studies and in vitro, including downregulation of cell receptors for HIV entry, reduced replication of HIV, effects on interferon synthesis, and interactions with interleukin pathways."

There are also numerous examples of beneficial gut viruses, in addition to bacteria.

I did not mean to leave an impression that such development is a probability, only as an example of the range of possibilities that naturally can occur as researchers are documenting the mutational cycles of COVID-19.
 

Calibasco

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, bici 2.002 y 2.020 - desde Luzaide (pueblo de familia)
Meantime, I live in Castilla y Leon. Grado is in Asturias. It's illegal for me to even cross the frontier, to start rearranging furniture!

¿Ni se puede viajar entre comunidades autónomas aún? Uau...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
There are also numerous examples of beneficial gut viruses, in addition to bacteria.

There is a scientist who has written a treatise on how mankind has developed by not just external symbiosis (cattle) but internal too (viruses). He claims that we exist because we have learned to live with (and use) other forms.

Book is called "Darwin's blind spot"

 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
According to WTO, the best protection is hygiene. Not masks
Our knowledge about the transmission of this coronavirus and about the disease Covid-19 is constantly evolving and so is the advice to reduce transmission. You may want to read the newest guidance of the WHO (I guess that is what you meant, the World Health Organisation WHO and not the World Trade Organisation WTO), issued on 5 June 2020 on the Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19, which includes advice on wearing face masks for the general public. The aim is to reduce viral transmission in the population by all appropriate means.

Concerning the guidelines for albergues and pilgrims that are the topic of this thread, it seems to me that the guidelines proposed by the Camino municipalities for their albergues are very similar to the earlier guidelines issued by the Spanish government for hotels and albergues in general. The Spanish municipalities along the pilgrim routes own and finance pilgrim albergues. If and when their guidelines are implemented your choice about whether you wish to use a face mask or not may be an easy one to make: no mask, no bed.

Buen camino!
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
Should you get sick , how the Albergue is going to handle you. You need private room during 14 days before you can go. Nobody discuss that.. It is a very important point.
Isn't the advice clear? Inviting the pilgrim to immediately contact the telephones enabled for this purpose by the Autonomous Communities (especially in the case of foreign pilgrims, it is advisable that the hospitalero phones them).

Where you will stay when you get sick with Covid-19 is not the concern of the albergues and that's probably why there is not more about this issue in their guidelines. I would not expect to be housed by a pilgrim albergues when I get ill with Covid-19. So the question is where do you have to stay in each of the Spanish regions when you are not sick enough for a hospital stay and who pays for your accommodation.
 

P Rat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino VDLP/Sanábres April 2019
Camino Mozárabe when we can again...(2021?)
It is a tough time for us who run albergues.
Up on the Primitivo, where I staff the FICS/municipal in Grado, the other albergue owners (almost totally privately owned) have already released videos and lists of places that are opening, or are open already. They presumed to put our place on their list, with our phone numbers, even, for reservations! (we never accept reservations). Presumptuous.
We are a volunteer group that staffs a facility owned by the city of Grado -- a city hit very hard by the virus, which is being extremely careful about opening things too soon. No decisions have been made.
All I can do is wait while city fathers ponder... and try to stand firm while the albergue owners howl, and the pilgrims telephone, and the board of directors discusses "the symbolic value of remaining the sole donativo..." I wonder if I will have volunteer hospis who are young and healthy enough, and willing to take on this risky job if/when we do open the doors.
Meantime, I live in Castilla y Leon. Grado is in Asturias. It's illegal for me to even cross the frontier, to start rearranging furniture!
These are petty concerns in the grand scheme of caminos, I know. I don't want to close down while everyone else is open, and send a wrong message about the fragility of the donativo system.
But I have nightmares about another outbreak happening in Grado, and people falling sick at "our" albergue!
wishing you strenght and god speed when you can open again. Very trying times indeed
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
Our knowledge about the transmission of this coronavirus and about the disease Covid-19 is constantly evolving and so is the advice to reduce transmission. You may want to read the newest guidance of the WHO (I guess that is what you meant, the World Health Organisation WHO and not the World Trade Organisation WTO), issued on 5 June 2020 on the Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19, which includes advice on wearing face masks for the general public. The aim is to reduce viral transmission in the population by all appropriate means.

Concerning the guidelines for albergues and pilgrims that are the topic of this thread, it seems to me that the guidelines proposed by the Camino municipalities for their albergues are very similar to the earlier guidelines issued by the Spanish government for hotels and albergues in general. The Spanish municipalities along the pilgrim routes own and finance pilgrim albergues. If and when their guidelines are implemented your choice about whether you wish to use a face mask or not may be an easy one to make: no mask, no bed.

Buen camino!
Sorry. WHO not WTO..
Disagree. The note Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19, you refer is " to provides advice on the use of masks in communities, during home care, and in health care settings in areas that have reported cases of COVID-19... It is intended for individuals in the community, public health and infection prevention and control (IPC) professionals, ".

Please read carefully. When you KNOW there is a covid-19 case, better to wear a mask. But on the camino, you are a pilgrim and you just dont know. If you believe however, that everyone around you is infected , just stay safe at home. . IMHO.
I understand the spanish people. Covid was terrible and fears are still there. But the Covid entered in Spain without the piligrims.. Pilgrims are not the enemy. And when I read the guidelines, in spanish, they are far from the spirit of the camino (Values of simplicity, living with little, fraternity, spirituality). The point is not to wear or not masks. Have you been in these albergues? How to prepare food , clean laundry etc.. if you believe that the other is just an another covid case? Stay at hotel , they have more money and they can afford to clean every day rooms etc..
The Camino they want ( AMCS - 81 cities + private entites) to implement is NOT the Camino. But the values of the Camino will survive as it has been in the past centuries - without this little businesses minded approach thu the Albergue publico network - when they open, most likely in winter times when the others be closed...
Rgds.
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
Isn't the advice clear? Inviting the pilgrim to immediately contact the telephones enabled for this purpose by the Autonomous Communities (especially in the case of foreign pilgrims, it is advisable that the hospitalero phones them).

Where you will stay when you get sick with Covid-19 is not the concern of the albergues and that's probably why there is not more about this issue in their guidelines. I would not expect to be housed by a pilgrim albergues when I get ill with Covid-19. So the question is where do you have to stay in each of the Spanish regions when you are not sick enough for a hospital stay and who pays for your accommodation.

Hi, again. Nice talks.. Agree and not. Before being a confirmed Covid-case, basic recommandations are to self quarantine (at least 14 days) for purposes of testing etc.. You cannot walk to the next stage. At least I will not do it. This should be the concern of the hosteles. Where. How. How to trace the persons you went in ? etc..
Rgds
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
Pilgrims are not the enemy
Pilgrims are nothing special. People who stay at home, don't move around and interact with a very small circle of other people are less likely to transmit the Covid-19 virus than people who don't stay at home, move around a lot and interact with a large number of other people. What can be done to minimise the spread of the virus when people don't stay at home, move around a lot and interact with a large number of other people? Here's what we think can be done, based on our experience of the last two to three months. It is really as simple as that.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Not covered is the people who defecate along the trail and those who urinate and leave their paper along the trail. These are serious risks.
They may very well be, but I think that albergue owners and staff are neither responsible nor accountable for addressing those risks.
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
Pilgrims are nothing special. People who stay at home, don't move around and interact with a very small circle of other people are less likely to transmit the Covid-19 virus than people who don't stay at home, move around a lot and interact with a large number of other people. What can be done to minimise the spread of the virus when people don't stay at home, move around a lot and interact with a large number of other people? Here's what we think can be done, based on our experience of the last two to three months. It is really as simple as that.
Yes, you're right. People with COVID-19 will not engage themselves in a 800 km walk. They will stay home. At least those I know. But I understand your concern. Really. But when the public authorities declare Spain out of alert and open frontiers, there is a risk. Lower than car accident by the way, but real. Albergues owners can decide also to close down and pilgrims can postpone also their trip. Until when? A vaccine? Not before end of 2021. Rgds
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
But I understand your concern. Really. But when the public authorities declare Spain out of alert and open frontiers, there is a risk.
What makes this discussion (in general) a bit frustrating is the flip-flopping between one's own concerns about one's personal health and the general concerns for public health.

If and when there will be a vaccine is of no concern for drawing up guidelines for albergues and their pilgrim guests right now.

To what degree a single pilgrim wishes to protect himself or herself and perhaps even others, whether to refrain from travelling or not, whether to stay in shared dormitories or not, is of limited relevance for drawing up guidelines for albergues and their pilgrim guests right now.

The aim is to reduce the transmission rate for the population as a whole and to keep this rate low. The aim is not to protect each and everyone from getting infected with coronavirus because this is an impossible aim right now.
 
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alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
As @davebugg noted in #27, WHO's finding that asymptomatic transmission is rare--is a game changer for any analsis of policy and risk. The 'Hostels Guidelines', implemented and followed, will eliminate as much risk as currently possible. To not have to worry or design for asymptomatic people is great news!! It is these hidden carriers that seem to have all the health experts worried. There is hope for a safe camino in the 'new normal'
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
we are not going to agree. Your are trying to define an offering to open commercial albergues right now. I can understand the point and the urgency. the Spanish government has issue guidances (guias ICTE) to comply with. But, on the other side, Certain people / Pelegrinos asociacion are saying that theses specs are not compatible with the Camino spirit (the old one). Me, as a traditional Pilgrim I'm looking for a Camino based on simplicity, sharing, etc. I'm not looking for a tourism package.
Hike your hike, but the hike that comply with these ICTE Guias is not the Camino, the traditional one.At least, my believing.

Let us see how donativo albergues that have built the Camino are going to handle these ICTE. Perhaps they will postpone their opening. Some are saying October? Later? I shall wait. El Camino puede esperar... Me too. It is so important, at least for me.
Rgds.
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start the Camino Frances from St Jean at the end of May (2020).
Isn't the advice clear? Inviting the pilgrim to immediately contact the telephones enabled for this purpose by the Autonomous Communities (especially in the case of foreign pilgrims, it is advisable that the hospitalero phones them).

Where you will stay when you get sick with Covid-19 is not the concern of the albergues and that's probably why there is not more about this issue in their guidelines. I would not expect to be housed by a pilgrim albergues when I get ill with Covid-19. So the question is where do you have to stay in each of the Spanish regions when you are not sick enough for a hospital stay and who pays for your accommodation.
In Greece every area will have a quarantine hotel and your stay will be paid for by the government, presumably because they will have to pay for the rooms anyway even if nobody stays.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
we are not going to agree. Your are trying to define an offering to open commercial albergues right now. I can understand the point and the urgency. the Spanish government has issue guidances (guias ICTE) to comply with. But, on the other side, Certain people / Pelegrinos asociacion are saying that theses specs are not compatible with the Camino spirit (the old one). Me, as a traditional Pilgrim I'm looking for a Camino based on simplicity, sharing, etc. I'm not looking for a tourism package.
Hike your hike, but the hike that comply with these ICTE Guias is not the Camino, the traditional one.At least, my believing.

Let us see how donativo albergues that have built the Camino are going to handle these ICTE. Perhaps they will postpone their opening. Some are saying October? Later? I shall wait. El Camino puede esperar... Me too. It is so important, at least for me.
Rgds.

I have no idea what you mean by 'traditional pilgrim' and 'camino spirit', but as an introvert AND a Pilgrim, the new guidelines suit me just fine. . they will do little to change how I interact with the Camino as a Pilgrim. My Caminos are for religious and spirititual purposes, and the changes do not affect that one bit. Does that mean I am not a 'traditional' pilgrim'? :)

Each person will need to decide if the coming changes will negatively impact their Camino. Each person will need to decide if that negative impact is sufficient to cancel their Camino plans, because I doubt that you will be able to ignore following the new protocols at an albergue or other public services, like restaurants and bars.

It will be simple: An albergue will comply with the rules or not open. Those who wish to stay in an albergue will comply with the rules or stay elsewhere.

There will likely be pretty stringent observance of the rules by the owners and managers of lodging facilities. It will not be a case of doing what you feel like doing, and pretend you are going through the motions of infectious disease prevention protocols.

As with Public Health inspections of restaurants for food safety compliance, there will also likely be unannounced public health inspections and spot checks on compliance for these new regulations. An albergue that wishes to remain open, will not allow flagrant violations of rules to occur. The risk of heavy fines or being shut down will be something lodging owners will want to avoid. And that is apart from the genuine concern that those who run albergues have for the welfare of those Pilgrims who stay with them.

Right now, I have not seen any indications from the Spanish authorities that there is a time in the future when Albergues will NOT have to follow the new infection control guidelines. They are not going to go away in October, next year, or the year after.

The reason the new protocols and regulations will stay in place is not just because of COVID-19, but because COVID-19 has demonstrated that there is a vulnerability in tourism that can allow the rapid spread of a highly contagious organism. COVID-19 was the motivation, but ongoing disease prevention is the long term goal.

A good example is simple handwashing. You do not stop handwashing just because there are no current outbreaks of Hepatitis A or Norovirus or other nasty organisms that can make you sick; you keep washing hands in case such diseases are around which haven't yet been detected.

The new normal will likely always include the new policies that will be implemented. The new normal for Pilgrims, will be adapting to that new normal.
 
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wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
we are not going to agree. Your are trying to define an offering to open commercial albergues right now. I can understand the point and the urgency. the Spanish government has issue guidances (guias ICTE) to comply with. But, on the other side, Certain people / Pelegrinos asociacion are saying that theses specs are not compatible with the Camino spirit (the old one). Me, as a traditional Pilgrim I'm looking for a Camino based on simplicity, sharing, etc. I'm not looking for a tourism package.
Hike your hike, but the hike that comply with these ICTE Guias is not the Camino, the traditional one.At least, my believing.

Let us see how donativo albergues that have built the Camino are going to handle these ICTE. Perhaps they will postpone their opening. Some are saying October? Later? I shall wait. El Camino puede esperar... Me too. It is so important, at least for me.
Rgds.
Albergues are a fairly recent invention in terms of the camino and they were/are meant for pilgrims who couldn't afford hotels/ hostals so I don't understand what you mean by a traditional camino in terms of staying in albergues and donativo's.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Yes, you're right. People with COVID-19 will not engage themselves in a 800 km walk.
Just because someone doesn't have Covid or any other disease when they start the Camino doesn't mean that they won't be exposed to it and contract it along the way. I've never packed bedbugs in my backpack, but I've been bitten by them along the Camino because someone else was carrying them. Albergues have protocols in place to stem the transmission of bedbugs, and now they have protocols in place to stem the transmission of Coronavirus.

And the WHO didn't say that asymptomatic transmission is impossible, just that as far as they can tell right now, it is rare. And they weren't talking about pre-symptomatic transmission:

While some cases of Covid-19 are fully asymptomatic, sometimes the word is also used to describe people who haven’t started showing symptoms yet, when they are presymptomatic. Research has shown that people become infectious before they start feeling sick, during that presymptomatic period.

 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
I noticed a significant amount of people in my corner of the world, don’t comply with the rules to wear masks in interior public spaces. So they are also probably not following the other recommendations, like handwashing etc. I suspect its the same everywhere, and will be the same on the Camino. A significant portion of people will not comply with any rules, either because they are stupid, selfish, or don’t believe that the rules are necessary. It’ll be a long time before I’m willing to stay in a hostel type situation for my own safety and peace of mind. You can make all the rules and publish all the papers you want, but in the end you can’t trust other people with things like this.
 
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D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Just because someone doesn't have Covid or any other disease when they start the Camino doesn't mean that they won't be exposed to it and contract it along the way. I've never packed bedbugs in my backpack, but I've been bitten by them along the Camino because someone else was carrying them. Albergues have protocols in place to stem the transmission of bedbugs, and now they have protocols in place to stem the transmission of Coronavirus.

And the WHO didn't say that asymptomatic transmission is impossible, just that as far as they can tell right now, it is rare. And they weren't talking about pre-symptomatic transmission:

While some cases of Covid-19 are fully asymptomatic, sometimes the word is also used to describe people who haven’t started showing symptoms yet, when they are presymptomatic. Research has shown that people become infectious before they start feeling sick, during that presymptomatic period.


Good observations. That is precisely why I prefaced what I posted with ' If this proven to be the case, ' As you noted, nothing has yet been quantified or has been defined. It is simply an indication of a potential finding that may help public health to more clearly understand overall transmission risks.

What WHO announced is encouraging, but premature as a confirmed aspect of COVID-19.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I noticed a significant amount of people in my corner of the world, don’t comply with the rules to wear masks in interior public spaces. So they are also probably not following the other recommendations, like handwashing etc. I suspect its the same everywhere, and will be the same on the Camino. A significant portion of people will not comply with any rules, either because they are stupid, selfish, or don’t believe that the rules are necessary. It’ll be a long time before I’m willing to stay in a hostel type situation for my own safety and peace of mind. You can make all the rules and publish all the papers you want, but in the end you cant trust other people with things like this.
I agree. I have also met people along the Camino who had bites that looked suspiciously like bedbug bites, but they wouldn't do anything to decontaminate their gear to make sure that they weren't carrying the bedbugs with them. Three times I have had bites that were suspicious. Actually, the first time I was pretty certain that they were bedbug bites because bedbugs had been discovered in the bunk above mine. The other two times I had bites of unknown origin. But each time I followed the protocol to decontaminate my gear. It wasn't how I wanted to spend a few hours, but I wanted to be responsible to albergue owners and my fellow pilgrims.
 

Dan_Hiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Was Apr 1, "2020" now fall "2020"
After reading the document it does not sound like any of the you-tube Camino's that I have watched. It sounds like something from a science fiction movie. One of the best parts of the Camino is to meet new people, have conversations, have some laughs. If your personality is one of being an introvert and not bothering to see or interact with other people, your time is at hand. For the rest of us, pray for a vaccine. I live in the USA and they are going all out to get a vaccine for this year. I hope they make it.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
As I was skimming through the latest news, this little nugget popped up:

WHO: Asymptomatic COVID-19 spread deemed ‘rare’

If this proven to be the case, then what will be a very low transmission risk with existing protocols, and new ones for albergues, will be even more effective. Symptomatic individuals can be isolated, during any stage of travel, for quick medical follow-up with testing.
They've since walked that back...now stating that better terms are "asymptomatic" and "pre-symptomatic" with no way to know the difference in the moment. You can be infected with no symptoms, but its a far cry from being infected with no symptoms 'yet'...
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
we are not going to agree. Your are trying to define an offering to open commercial albergues right now
There is nothing to agree or disagree about.

I don't understand this comment at all: trying to define an offering to open commercial albergues.

This is a thread about the measures for the protection of public health in Spain and these measures are proposed by a group to which about 100 municipalities belong who own albergues along the Spanish caminos, mainly the Camino Frances, and who are responsible both for public health in their area and for these albergues in their area. I am trying to understand what the objections are against these proposals and what alternative proposals - if there any - are being made.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Albergues are a fairly recent invention in terms of the camino and they were/are meant for pilgrims who couldn't afford hotels/ hostals so I don't understand what you mean by a traditional camino in terms of staying in albergues and donativo's.
Albergues as we know them today may be "fairly recent invention" but hardly the refugios/hospitales etc. 1000 years ago. Be it in "terms of Camino" or not. Municipal/parrochial even more so historically.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Albergues as we know them today may be "fairly recent invention" but hardly the refugios/hospitales etc. 1000 years ago. Be it in "terms of Camino" or not. Municipal/parrochial even more so historically.
We are in agreement. I was referring to the fact that some people think they are not doing a real camino if they don't stay in albergues, but these were originally set up as I said to cater for those who couldn't afford to stay in hotels, staying in hotels is not any less real or not less "in the spitit" of the camino, a bit like thinking you have to start in StJPdP and walk the Napoleon route to do a real camino.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
They've since walked that back...now stating that better terms are "asymptomatic" and "pre-symptomatic" with no way to know the difference in the moment. You can be infected with no symptoms, but its a far cry from being infected with no symptoms 'yet'...

:) Yes, they did. That was why I decided to prefaced the post the way that I did.
 
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D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
After reading the document it does not sound like any of the you-tube Camino's that I have watched. It sounds like something from a science fiction movie. One of the best parts of the Camino is to meet new people, have conversations, have some laughs. If your personality is one of being an introvert and not bothering to see or interact with other people, your time is at hand. For the rest of us, pray for a vaccine. I live in the USA and they are going all out to get a vaccine for this year. I hope they make it.

There are a number of hurdles to get through with regard to a vaccine.

Vaccines are not 100% effective. Most influenza vaccines, as an example, hover between 40 to 60%. A lot of people cannot take a vaccine due to contraindications, allergies to the makeup of the vaccine. While Fauci is hopeful one might be available, he also stated concerns about both longevity and the potential of failure of a vaccine in final trials.

So while a vaccine may be one tool that can decrease the risk, there is a possibility that it will still be necessary
to have the regulations remain.

It is unlikely that a vaccine will be available for distribution and immunizations this year. What was stated was that a candidate vaccine may be available to begin trials later this year. But no one yet knows if a vaccine can be developed, as is the case with most viral illness. It sounds promising for a vaccine, but we'll see.

Although there will be certain precautions to observe, that does not mean you will need to forgo the things you say are 'the best parts' of a Camino to you. People can still meet, have conversations, and laugh. :)
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
Albergues are a fairly recent invention in terms of the camino and they were/are meant for pilgrims who couldn't afford hotels/ hostals so I don't understand what you mean by a traditional camino in terms of staying in albergues and donativo's.
I was thinking to myself how funny it is when someone laments the fact that now there may be not as many communal meals and not as many dormitory beds and not as many pilgrims from all over the world and not as many open donativos or publicly financed or religious albergues as they experienced in their recent camino walk last year or a few years ago or learnt about from YouTube videos and movies. As if it had been always like this.

I have a friend who went from Pamplona to Santiago in the 90s, a mere twenty years ago, and it just wasn't like this. The recent developments are mainly a result of the fairly recent mass phenomenon and "globalisation" of camino walking. Now it is just as it was before all this: you may walk mainly on your own and you sleep where there is a bed - just that it is now a room in a private albergue or a casa rural instead of an oh so romantic school hall in a small town. ☺
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
I just remembered: I have a book in diary form written by a pilgrim who went from his home in Austria to Santiago in Spain in 1654 to give thanks to Saint James, a traditional pilgrim if ever there was one.

In those days, there were many more internal borders in Europe than there are today. He writes from a place called Pontebba:

On this side of the bridge it is imperial [note: Austrian] land and on the other side it is Venetian country. The Venetian custos sanitatis [note: a kind of health inspector], who was more than extremely concerned about the risk of infection from Austria, did not want to let me through despite my permit for entry and wanted to keep me in quarantine for at least three weeks.
Hint: If you want to speak of "traditional" you have to think in centuries and not in decades.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
And when the mere thought of having your body temperature taken before you are allowed into a pilgrim albergue and being obliged to wear a face mask when you cannot maintain the required distance to others is an unbearable thought, then consider yourself lucky that you did not walk in 1586 when, staying in an Oviedo albergue for example, you had to accept these rules:

Every night at bedtime pilgrims must be stripped of all their clothes before they go to bed and those who are not clean [show signs of any disease or skin disorder] must sleep in a separate bed for the mangy.
 
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OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
And when the mere thought of having your body temperature taken before you are allowed into a pilgrim albergue and being obliged to wear a face mask when you cannot maintain the required distance to others is an unbearable thought, then consider yourself lucky that you did not walk in 1586 when, staying in an Oviedo albergue for example, you had to accept these rules:

Every night at bedtime pilgrims must be stripped of all their clothes before they go to bed and those who are not clean [show signs of any disease or skin disorder] must sleep in a separate bed for the mangy.
👍 Good point.. Hopefully quality of life has improved. And yes (in advance) coronavirus is not the fault of the albergues owners. They have to comply with Spanish rules. But the 2020 Pelegrino must understand that , in current situation, simplicity and sharing at least are profoundly damaged.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
But the 2020 Pelegrino must understand that , in current situation, simplicity and sharing at least are profoundly damaged.
I'm looking forward to hearing from 2020 peregrinos who are actually walking on a camino in Spain now or in the near future and how they actually perceive the situation. So far, I've seen video footage of three Spanish pilgrims who have a LOT of experience of walking caminos in Spain and they sound actually very happy.
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
I'm looking forward to hearing from 2020 peregrinos who are actually walking on a camino in Spain now or in the near future and how they actually perceive the situation. So far, I've seen video footage of three Spanish pilgrims who have a LOT of experience of walking caminos in Spain and they sound actually very happy.
That is good news. Few Pelegrinos lower the risk. I guess also that a winter Camino would be different with a summer one.
should be of interest to know, how many bars restaurants are opened. Would depend of course of location as Galicia is almost opened. Reminder: León and Burgos are still in phase 2.
Was informed that Cathedral, public albergues of the Xunta de Galicia and pekegrim office are due to open this 1 July (mayor + Xunta, on 9 June)
 

David Pettee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
GPM '86; Soviet/Amer. Walk '88; Death Valley to Mt. Whitney '89; CF '18; Coast to Coast '19; CP '20?
My partner and I booked an April 2020 Camino trip through a European company (not located in Spain) that we had to postpone. This week, we inquired what the current status of things was with albuergues, etc. We were encouraged to come as early as July, even though we can't because we live in the US. We were given other false information that was easily challenged by some research. It seems clear to me that the economic interests of some travel organizations is trumping health and safety.
 

mahz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo 2017
North 2016
French 2014
French 2012
¿Ni se puede viajar entre comunidades autónomas aún? Uau...
In some places, such as Salamanca (VdLP), you can not travel to a different province within the region (at least up until June 22). This is the case in some other parts of the country, but no so much in the French camino.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Where you will stay when you get sick with Covid-19 is not the concern of the albergues and that's probably why there is not more about this issue in their guidelines. I would not expect to be housed by a pilgrim albergues when I get ill with Covid-19. So the question is where do you have to stay in each of the Spanish regions when you are not sick enough for a hospital stay and who pays for your accommodation.
But of course. The individual pilgrim is responsible and the individual pilgrim will have to pay, especially if you’re not hospitalised. And for those of us from outside the EU, there’ll be no insurance to cover any of it.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
As an new albergue owner and veteran pilgrim it has been interesting reading all these comments. What follows is probably a rant so be forewarned!

There are two guidelines for albergues at the current time (another one by the Xunta de Galicia is on its way), one written up by the government and one by a group of municipals along the Camino Frances, FICS and a group representing Catholic Traditional Albergues in Castilla y Leon. The latter represents recommendations and has no legal basis the former obviously does. Are there differences? Definitely. The governmental guidelines although quite involved are not as elaborate and labor intensive (and costly) as the ones produced by the municipal group. It remains to be seen what the final guidelines will be governing us all during the "new normal".

There are several recommendations which I do not agree with, not only because they represent an additional financial investment but mainly because 1) they do not take into consideration the environmental impact of the rules and 2) they place the sole responsibility for carying out the sanitary/hygiene guidelines with the albergue holder. What about the pilgrim? Why should an albergue owner clean the bathrooms 6x a day, supply the pilgrim with a mask, gloves, a separate plastic bag for shoes, backpack, dirty clothes, disposable sheets, plastic utensils, etc., etc.? If these are requirements for the pilgrims then why don't they carry their own? It is not surprising at all that many albergues have decided to postpone opening or wait until 2021 (and I haven't even talked about the potential impact on the aging local population).

We are all responsible for making and keeping the Camino safe - pilgrims and albergue owners alike. Should we albergue owners be taking on the role of a nurse or doctor and be responsible for taking a pilgrim's temperature, keeping the albergue as if in a petri dish? If you are unwell, you should not be entering an albergue. Yes, I will call the health authorities for you but please stay out!

We already need to comply with a reduction of 50% of our capacity, buy hand gel, new cleaning products and make sure everyone maintains social distancing but the rest? And until when? Until there is a medical breakthrough I guess.

Yes, it ended up being a rant but I believe that we all need to think about how we proceed further. As I have said many times before on this Forum we are in this together. So let's act responsible together. Help out cleaning the toilet or bathroom once you've used it. Carry your own mask, gloves and some hand sanitizer. Make sure you bring a sleeping bag and maybe your own utensils. These are just a few things that will go a long way to help albergue owners get through this period.

And just to spoil it for the newbies while I'm at it (sorry): as long as all the guidelines are in place the Camino will not be as you imagined, read or heard about. This makes me sad too but is reality.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
The last time someone posted something about Alpine huts and Covid-19 measures (in Switzerland) it ended badly so I hesitate to mention something about Alpine huts and Covid-19 measures in France. The French Federation of Alpine and Mountain clubs FFCAM has drawn up a form that is even available in English. It needs to be signed beforehand to confirm an obligatory reservation. It serves of course not only as a self-declaration but also to increase awareness of the individual responsibility of the mountain walker, hiker or climber to make "the trip safe for oneself and others".

The form can be found here: in English, in Spanish and in French. Maybe interesting to look at the text in this context? I am NOT proposing that such a form is used on the caminos so please everyone save your breath. You even have to confirm that you are aware that in the current health context, the operation, the reception conditions and the services offered by the hut (albergue) will not be the same as usual; that you won't go to a hut (albergue) if you or someone in the group you are with (!) has potential symptoms of Covid-19 (cough, fever > 37.8 ºC, diarrhoea, nausea, cold, severe fatigue, conjunctivitis, loss of taste or smell) and that you will bring all the adequate material necessary (hydro-alcoholic gel, mask, ...).
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
The last time someone posted something about Alpine huts and Covid-19 measures (in Switzerland) it ended badly so I hesitate to mention something about Alpine huts and Covid-19 measures in France. The French Federation of Alpine and Mountain clubs FFCAM has drawn up a form that is even available in English. It needs to be signed beforehand to confirm an obligatory reservation. It serves of course not only as a self-declaration but also to increase awareness of the individual responsibility of the mountain walker, hiker or climber to make "the trip safe for oneself and others".

The form can be found here: in English, in Spanish and in French. Maybe interesting to look at the text in this context? I am NOT proposing that such a form is used on the camino so please everyone save your breath. You even have to confirm that you are aware that in the current health context, the operation, the reception conditions and the services offered by the hut (albergue) will not be the same as usual; that you won't go to a hut (albergue) if you or someone in the group you are with (!) has potential symptoms of Covid-19 (cough, fever > 37.8 ºC, diarrhoea, nausea, cold, severe fatigue, conjunctivitis, loss of taste or smell) and that you will bring all the adequate material necessary (hydro-alcoholic gel, mask, ...).

Very interesting indeed!
 

4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
As I was skimming through the latest news, this little nugget popped up:

WHO: Asymptomatic COVID-19 spread deemed ‘rare’

If this proven to be the case, then what will be a very low transmission risk with existing protocols, and new ones for albergues, will be even more effective. Symptomatic individuals can be isolated, during any stage of travel, for quick medical follow-up with testing.
WHO has walked back on that one the very next day already.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I was able to copy text from the PDF and paste it into Google Translate. It's not as nicely formatted as the original, but gets the job done.

Here's the translation from the first section:

The staff and hospital staff must: PREMISE: The Camino is, and continues to be, a safe environment. Both in his journey through the urban environment and in his essential part of contact with Nature, it is basically the individual responsibility of the pilgrim that will allow him to continue being it. EXCEPTIONAL MEASURES As exceptional measures in the face of the health crisis we are experiencing, pilgrims are advised during their period of march: 1 Maintain measures of social distancing, both on the Camino and when passing through towns and shelters. 2 Wear masks, either surgical or if possible with FFP2 protection level without valve, and latex or nitrile gloves, which should be put on in case of contact with other pilgrims, neighbors or making use of the services of the Camino, always maintaining the safety distance. 3 Extreme personal hygiene, with frequent use of hand soap and hydroalcoholic solution after touching surfaces susceptible to transmitting the virus, especially those where it has proven to be more persistent, such as metal and plastic, especially at low temperatures . 4 Carry your own sleeping bag and hydro-alcoholic gel for personal use, as well as a sufficient supply of masks and gloves to the next pharmacy-equipped nucleus. 5 Individual responsibility must avoid irresponsible actions such as spitting on the floor, coughing without taking the appropriate measures, or throwing cigarette butts, discarded gloves or facemasks or garbage out of the bins or containers arranged for this purpose. In this regard, environmental damage is compounded by an easily avoidable risk for others, for example, by applying the principles of the “A clean step” campaign. 6 Be especially careful with cleaning in fountains and rest areas, which must be periodically sanitized.
Am I to understand from this that there are separate bio hazard bins?
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
As I have said many times before on this Forum we are in this together. So let's act responsible together. Help out cleaning the toilet or bathroom once you've used it. Carry your own mask, gloves and some hand sanitizer. Make sure you bring a sleeping bag and maybe your own utensils. These are just a few things that will go a long way to help albergue owners get through this period.
Also, no blankets (or sheets) supplies by the albergue, as they can’t be washed after every use. Plastic coverings should be enough, and easier to clean.
 

casa susana

Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances 2012
Sorry. WHO not WTO..
Disagree. The note Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19, you refer is " to provides advice on the use of masks in communities, during home care, and in health care settings in areas that have reported cases of COVID-19... It is intended for individuals in the community, public health and infection prevention and control (IPC) professionals, ".

Please read carefully. When you KNOW there is a covid-19 case, better to wear a mask. But on the camino, you are a pilgrim and you just dont know. If you believe however, that everyone around you is infected , just stay safe at home. . IMHO.
I understand the spanish people. Covid was terrible and fears are still there. But the Covid entered in Spain without the piligrims.. Pilgrims are not the enemy. And when I read the guidelines, in spanish, they are far from the spirit of the camino (Values of simplicity, living with little, fraternity, spirituality). The point is not to wear or not masks. Have you been in these albergues? How to prepare food , clean laundry etc.. if you believe that the other is just an another covid case? Stay at hotel , they have more money and they can afford to clean every day rooms etc..
The Camino they want ( AMCS - 81 cities + private entites) to implement is NOT the Camino. But the values of the Camino will survive as it has been in the past centuries - without this little businesses minded approach thu the Albergue publico network - when they open, most likely in winter times when the others be closed...
Rgds.
Surely, what is essential here is not WHO guidelines, but the rules of the country you are in. At the moment in all of Spain a mask is essential indoors, for example at the supermarket and the pharmacy and in all situations whereby a social distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
WHO has walked back on that one the very next day already.

:) Yes, it was mentioned several times in this thread. It is why I prefaced it by saying " If this proven to be the case,..."

I will note that what WHO announced was 'walked back' only in the sense that the parameters of this are not clearly defined. The absence of asymptomatic transmission is a reality. It is with many respiratory illnesses caused by virus.

Defining at what point people are 'Safe' in the cycle of infection from exposing others, is the 'walk back' issue. Obviously, that difficulty focuses on the pathophysiology variations in people exposed to COVID-19.

There is no fluorescent sign on people that says: "I'm Asymptomatic, But Safe". :)

The bottom line for now is that for infection control policies, maintaining effectiveness means that you consider EVERYONE infected and capable of transmitting COVID-19 until proven they are not infected. (skip the infinite variations of "can people get it again"). This means that the requirements for albergues, cannot be centered on the absence of asymptomatic transmission in people.

This will not change if/when a vaccine is available. Vaccines are mostly far less than 100% effective. For example, look at a different coronavirus, MERS. No, MERS is not caused by the same type of Coronavirus, but it is a coronavirus disease. Using the US military protocol for vaccination, which involves both a vaccine and method that is more aggressive than for civilian applications, there is an 85% effectiveness rate at a maximum. The range is from 68% TO 85%.

So for infection prevention, a vaccine will be most valuable at decreasing the risk of infection, but it will not eliminate it. It will also do something else many are not aware of: It is likely that for those who are vaccinated, even IF infected with COVID-19, they will have a milder course of illness, with decreased morbidity AND mortality.

For Camino, the above holds true but the absolute risk of someone becoming infected due to an asymptomatic Pilgrim, is lessened. There ARE asymptomatic (not prodromal) individuals who cannot transmit the virus. There are asymptomatic prodromal individuals who can. Since that will never be something identifiable, PPP cannot be eliminated, but this will be a factor in patterns of new infections.

For the natural history and epidemiology of COVID-19 in the global population centers, it means that there is an important factor that will help contain the spread of the disease/ or end the disease as a threat. Lessened ability to transmit = decreased new infections, morbidity and mortality.
 
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Gene_781

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francés, Camino portugués (Tui), Pilgrims Welcome Office, hospitalero 8 times
I did not read this document literally word for word, but one thing that I did not notice was asking for and recording personal contact information from pilgrims, for example a telephone number, for infection contact tracing. Contact tracing is an essential tool for controlling spread of Covid. Hopefully it is there and I missed it.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I did not read this document literally word for word, but one thing that I did not notice was asking for and recording personal contact information from pilgrims, for example a telephone number, for infection contact tracing. Contact tracing is an essential tool for controlling spread of Covid. Hopefully it is there and I missed it.

From my experience, either government passports or other IDs are required to be given at check-in to lodging.

If the concern is an ability to contact a pilgrim DURING a Camino, then that would already provide a base of information. Without requiring that a pilgrim have an active cell phone, or file a required itenary that cannot be deviated from, I think the method for capturing Pilgrim Intel is already in place.

From a public health perspective, I can think of a dozen ways that such contact tracing would be ineffective, at interrupting the virus, if an outbreak occurs. It might be helpful, but the Camino population and distribution and travel patterns would make it a challenge :)
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
The absence of asymptomatic transmission is a reality.
This statement has me very puzzled.
This will not change if/when a vaccine is available. Vaccines are mostly far less than 100% effective.
When the risk changes (even when it doesn't reduce to zero), the response and control methods will change.

Your post presents statements of fact that we can't really question or debate properly on this forum.
 

Dan_Hiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Was Apr 1, "2020" now fall "2020"
From my experience either government passports or other IDs are required to be given for check-in.

If the concern is an ability to contact a pilgrim DURING a Camino, then that would already provide a base of information. Without requiring that a pilgrim have an active cell phone, or file a required itenary that cannot be deviated from, I think the method for capturing Pilgrim Intel is already in place.

From a public health perspective, I can think of a dozen ways that such contact tracing would be ineffective, at interrupting the virus, if an outbreak occurs.
Hi davebugg,
You have a lot of useful information. I take it take your background is in these areas. You posted two camino's for 2020. Have you already done them or plan on doing them later this year. If you are going to do them this year when it opens, do you have a blog/vlog that you do daily so the rest of us know how things are going on the camino's? I know it takes time and effort so maybe every 2/3 days. Direct information from someone knowledgeable would be very useful for the rest of us. Thanks for your input. It's well received.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
This statement has me very puzzled.

When the risk changes (even when it doesn't reduce to zero), the response and control methods will change.

Your post presents statements of fact that we can't really question or debate properly on this forum.

Oops, I was typing quickly and structured the sentence wrong. See if this makes better sense:

The absence lack of transmission of COVID-19, from some asymptomatic patients to the uninfected, is a reality. It is the case with many respiratory illnesses caused by virus.

Hopefully, the rest of the post clearly explains why and how it is unimportant for infection control policies.

When I have made this kind of error of meaning, I am grateful to have it pointed out.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Hi davebugg,
You have a lot of useful information. I take it take your background is in these areas. You posted two camino's for 2020. Have you already done them or plan on doing them later this year. If you are going to do them this year when it opens, do you have a blog/vlog that you do daily so the rest of us know how things are going on the camino's? I know it takes time and effort so maybe every 2/3 days. Direct information from someone knowledgeable would be very useful for the rest of us. Thanks for your input. It's well received.

Hi, I've sent a PM. Check your Messenger box. :)
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
The absence lack of transmission of COVID-19, from some asymptomatic patients to the uninfected, is a reality.
Are you are saying that sometimes asymptomatic patients do not transmit to the uninfected? That seems obvious since even symptomatic patients don't always transmit to others.

I share the wish to inform people and to correct misunderstandings, but sometimes attempted explanations raise more questions than they can answer, and we end up arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin . 😇👼 It would not be the first time I have been accused of that!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Also, no blankets (or sheets) supplies by the albergue, as they can’t be washed after every use. Plastic coverings should be enough, and easier to clean.

I am assuming that the anti-bedbug, anti-fire, breathable covers which are on order (€700!) will be sufficient as they can be disinfected daily and all the blankets have been packed away. I am still undecided about sheets. My original plan was to include them and wash daily but if they need to be specially packed I don't know.
 

DougB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping to make it by 2020!
It is a tough time for us who run albergues.
Up on the Primitivo, where I staff the FICS/municipal in Grado, the other albergue owners (almost totally privately owned) have already released videos and lists of places that are opening, or are open already. They presumed to put our place on their list, with our phone numbers, even, for reservations! (we never accept reservations). Presumptuous.
We are a volunteer group that staffs a facility owned by the city of Grado -- a city hit very hard by the virus, which is being extremely careful about opening things too soon. No decisions have been made.
All I can do is wait while city fathers ponder... and try to stand firm while the albergue owners howl, and the pilgrims telephone, and the board of directors discusses "the symbolic value of remaining the sole donativo..." I wonder if I will have volunteer hospis who are young and healthy enough, and willing to take on this risky job if/when we do open the doors.
Meantime, I live in Castilla y Leon. Grado is in Asturias. It's illegal for me to even cross the frontier, to start rearranging furniture!
These are petty concerns in the grand scheme of caminos, I know. I don't want to close down while everyone else is open, and send a wrong message about the fragility of the donativo system.
But I have nightmares about another outbreak happening in Grado, and people falling sick at "our" albergue!

I have been wondering about this. We were set to walk the Primitivo in May and are now looking at this Fall. Is there a trustworthy albergue network we can contact to find out information without calling every one?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
(Via Tolosana Sept 2020 - alas! deferred)
It is a tough time for us who run albergues.
Up on the Primitivo, where I staff the FICS/municipal in Grado, the other albergue owners (almost totally privately owned) have already released videos and lists of places that are opening, or are open already. They presumed to put our place on their list, with our phone numbers, even, for reservations! (we never accept reservations). Presumptuous.
We are a volunteer group that staffs a facility owned by the city of Grado -- a city hit very hard by the virus, which is being extremely careful about opening things too soon. No decisions have been made.
All I can do is wait while city fathers ponder... and try to stand firm while the albergue owners howl, and the pilgrims telephone, and the board of directors discusses "the symbolic value of remaining the sole donativo..." I wonder if I will have volunteer hospis who are young and healthy enough, and willing to take on this risky job if/when we do open the doors.
Meantime, I live in Castilla y Leon. Grado is in Asturias. It's illegal for me to even cross the frontier, to start rearranging furniture!
These are petty concerns in the grand scheme of caminos, I know. I don't want to close down while everyone else is open, and send a wrong message about the fragility of the donativo system.
But I have nightmares about another outbreak happening in Grado, and people falling sick at "our" albergue!
🙏
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
Tough times for albergue owners, that's for sure. To be asked to be all things to all pilgrims, to meet extra Covid-safe requirements, which involve significant expense and much labour, is asking a lot. Too much in my opinion....and maybe too soon, but I guess albergue owners have a choice of when they open within govt guidelines.

Even though we will not be coming from Australia in the near future, we are hoping and praying that you all stay safe... and thank you.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
There are several recommendations which I do not agree with, not only because they represent an additional financial investment but mainly because 1) they do not take into consideration the environmental impact of the rules and 2) they place the sole responsibility for carying out the sanitary/hygiene guidelines with the albergue holder. What about the pilgrim? Why should an albergue owner clean the bathrooms 6x a day, supply the pilgrim with a mask, gloves, a separate plastic bag for shoes, backpack, dirty clothes, disposable sheets, plastic utensils, etc., etc.? If these are requirements for the pilgrims then why don't they carry their own? It is not surprising at all that many albergues have decided to postpone opening or wait until 2021 (and I haven't even talked about the potential impact on the aging local population).

I think you’re dreaming if you think you can depend on pilgrims to carry the responsibility. I’m not saying that you’re not right, because you are. And if I was there you could depend on me. But I think a significant percentage of people would be scofflaws. That’s why the responsibility has to fall on the Albergue owners. It’s unfair, and probably will result in economic hardship or disaster, but it’s the only way it’ll work.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I think you’re dreaming if you think you can depend on pilgrims to carry the responsibility. I’m not saying that you’re not right, because you are. And if I was there you could depend on me. But I think a significant percentage of people would be scofflaws. That’s why the responsibility has to fall on the Albergue owners. It’s unfair, and probably will result in economic hardship or disaster, but it’s the only way it’ll work.

Let's hope you're wrong. I will give instructions and rules on entering but will not police. I would like to think that we are all adults until proven otherwise.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I think you’re dreaming if you think you can depend on pilgrims to carry the responsibility. I’m not saying that you’re not right, because you are. And if I was there you could depend on me. But I think a significant percentage of people would be scofflaws. That’s why the responsibility has to fall on the Albergue owners. It’s unfair, and probably will result in economic hardship or disaster, but it’s the only way it’ll work.
I'm afraid that you are right. As I mentioned above, many pilgrims can't be trusted to do what's necessary to stop the transfer of bed bugs, so I wouldn't trust them to do what's necessary to stop the transmission of Covid.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Tough times for albergue owners, that's for sure. To be asked to be all things to all pilgrims, to meet extra Covid-safe requirements, which involve significant expense and much labour, is asking a lot.
True that. I don’t see why pilgrims can’t be asked to shoulder some of the responsibility. @trecile showed a photo of her albergue bunk setup that I follow myself & find it makes the most sense, leaving nothing for the hospitalera/o to do the next day, and guaranteeing that I have a clean setup every night.
Maybe requiring pilgrims to show up with their own (observably clean) bedding before being allowed to check in might go a way towards helping the situation.
 

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