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COVID What happens if you get Covid on the trail?

emilep

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
After the story this week, I was wondering - what happens if you get Covid on the trail? Does anyone in Spain know what the process is? Galicia has Covid insurance to reimburse pilgrims that get Covid.

Complementary coverage and services
  • Medical, surgical, pharmaceutical and hospitalisation expenses due to COVID-19.
  • Medical repatriation and repatriation in the event of death due to COVID-19.
  • Extended stay on account of COVID-19 quarantine.

However what about the rest of the Camino? What are the policies around quarantining & testing?

FYI This post is for understanding what happens in the case one does get Covid while in Spain. This is not meant to devolve into a discussion around vaccinations.
 
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Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Various ones.
I can't answer your question from a fact based position but I would say that the local health authorities who areas you pass through may not know for certain themselves how they are going to handle situations that arise, it depends on the number of pilgrims who tested positive and how and where it is likely to have happened before they decide how and where they are going to quarantine you.
Thanks for the info on Galicia, that is becoming the more likely place where I will do my Camino if I do get to go out in late August, my friends walked 18 days last summer on the Camino do Mar/Ingles/ Finistera option, so its not all bad.
Buen Camino
 
Last edited:

MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
I am struggling to understand the question.
Why would getting COVID in Spain be different from getting COVID in any other country?

If you get COVID, you will have to quarantaine until a medical doctor declares that you are no longer ill.
You may end up in hospital, where you will be treated until you (hopefully) recover.
You will possibly miss your plane home. You'll need a negative test to board a plane anyway.

So check your travel insurance and your ticket. If you travel alone, make sure that someone at home can make the necessary inquiries and changes.
Also, make sure you have enough money to cover extra costs plus the time that you may not be able to return to work.

Galicia has this new COVID-19 travel insurance, if you read carefully you see that it will cover a lot, but not everything, and IMO it is unclear how long they will take to pay out.
 

emilep

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
I am struggling to understand the question.
Fair enough. The reason for the question is I am not an EU citizen, do not live in Spain, and speak only a little Spanish. Given these limitations, it is nice to fully understand what would happen if you do get it - both asymptomatic and/or if you do have to go to the hospital. Right now I am assuming, if I were to get Covid, it could become a very large expense - one I did not have to budget for on previous Caminos.

If you get COVID, you will have to quarantaine until a medical doctor declares that you are no longer ill.
Correct - are you able to do this at a hotel? How many days minimum? How do you get tested?

You may end up in hospital, where you will be treated until you (hopefully) recover.
If you do end up in the hospital, is this covered by the state or will this be a potential expense? If you are an EU citizen, I believe the healthcare costs are covered by the state/EU. If you aren't, will you be sent the bill like in the US?

You will possibly miss your plane home. You'll need a negative test to board a plane anyway.
Does travel insurance cover this right now? If so, it may be worth that extra $40 just in case.

Also, make sure you have enough money to cover extra costs plus the time that you may not be able to return to work.
Right, that's the ultimate point. If you go on the Camino now and get Covid, your trip could become many times more expensive than you originally planned. Better to fully understand the financial ramifications upfront.
 

MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
Fair enough. The reason for the question is I am not an EU citizen, do not live in Spain, and speak only a little Spanish. Given these limitations, it is nice to fully understand what would happen if you do get it - both asymptomatic and/or if you do have to go to the hospital. Right now I am assuming, if I were to get Covid, it could become a very large expense - one I did not have to budget for on previous Caminos.


Correct - are you able to do this at a hotel? How many days minimum? How do you get tested?


If you do end up in the hospital, is this covered by the state or will this be a potential expense? If you are an EU citizen, I believe the healthcare costs are covered by the state/EU. If you aren't, will you be sent the bill like in the US?


Does travel insurance cover this right now? If so, it may be worth that extra $40 just in case.


Right, that's the ultimate point. If you go on the Camino now and get Covid, your trip could become many times more expensive than you originally planned. Better to fully understand the financial ramifications upfront.

Hi Emile, if I were you, I'd go for the best insurance, the one that takes most of the expenses and the work out of your hands. For people in the EU, this is not such a big issue since we are usually insured via our own health insurance. But for those from for instance Canada and the US it is a different matter. There is a lot of info on this forum, and what I understand from reading, experiences differ and those who needed it were grateful that they had good or even the best coverage.

COVID may be short and relatively sweet, and all over in a week, but this needn't be the case and it may take you a lot longer. There is no knowing in advance.

Plan for the worst and hope for the best. There is a lot you can do to protect yourself.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2022
Hi Emile, if I were you, I'd go for the best insurance, the one that takes most of the expenses and the work out of your hands. For people in the EU, this is not such a big issue since we are usually insured via our own health insurance. But for those from for instance Canada and the US it is a different matter. There is a lot of info on this forum, and what I understand from reading, experiences differ and those who needed it were grateful that they had good or even the best coverage.

COVID may be short and relatively sweet, and all over in a week, but this needn't be the case and it may take you a lot longer. There is no knowing in advance.

Plan for the worst and hope for the best. There is a lot you can do to protect yourself.
It’s important to understand that after you have recovered from covid and are no longer contagious you may continue to test positive. My mother recovered from covid but tested positive for 4 months but was not contagious. If a negative test is required to get on a plane that could be an issue.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Carefully check out the various travel insurance policies offered via the airline's websites when you make your flight arrangements. Or, go to www.allianz.com. I buy my policies from them. There are many other travel insurance companies. Do a search for travel insurance companies.

Also, check with your insurance provider to see what they will cover you for overseas. For example, my secondary health insurance cover in the US is through Blue Cross Blue Shield. My coverage is accepted worldwide. They have a website where you can locate a hospital and doctor inmost every country.

In Santiago, my insurance cover is accepted at the University Medical Center (CHUS). It is also accepted at other hospitals across Spain. I have not needed to use it. But it is nice to know it is there.

I buy optional travel insurance anyway. Better to have too much insurance than not enough, or none.

Beyond coverage for inconvenience when your flight is affected or your luggage goes walkabout, most policies also offer medical coverage, up to and including medical evacuation by air to your home country. The cost varies, by depends on your home country and destination country (distance involved), how long you will be there, and your age. You need to read for yourself.

For example, the policy I bought to covers me when I go to Spain for three weeks this September, INCLUDES COVID coverage. Hiking is considered walking and is covered. Mountaineering is not covered. Similarly, riding a bicycle is considered a normal activity and it covered.

Do your research.

Hope this helps,

Tom
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)

susanrunning

New Member
Past OR future Camino
September 19
Carefully check out the various travel insurance policies offered via the airline's websites when you make your flight arrangements. Or, go to www.allianz.com. I buy my policies from them. There are many other travel insurance companies. Do a search for travel insurance companies.

Also, check with your insurance provider to see what they will cover you for overseas. For example, my secondary health insurance cover in the US is through Blue Cross Blue Shield. My coverage is accepted worldwide. They have a website where you can locate a hospital and doctor inmost every country.

In Santiago, my insurance cover is accepted at the University Medical Center (CHUS). It is also accepted at other hospitals across Spain. I have not needed to use it. But it is nice to know it is there.

I buy optional travel insurance anyway. Better to have too much insurance than not enough, or none.

Beyond coverage for inconvenience when your flight is affected or your luggage goes walkabout, most policies also offer medical coverage, up to and including medical evacuation by air to your home country. The cost varies, by depends on your home country and destination country (distance involved), how long you will be there, and your age. You need to read for yourself.

For example, the policy I bought to covers me when I go to Spain for three weeks this September, INCLUDES COVID coverage. Hiking is considered walking and is covered. Mountaineering is not covered. Similarly, riding a bicycle is considered a normal activity and it covered.

Do your research.

Hope this helps,

Tom
Who did you get extra insurance with? I also have BCBS…
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I’ve said this before but will again, as a physician who’s had to arrange medical transport from foreign countries: non-EU citizens (looking mostly at my fellow Americans here) should always have medical travel insurance (not talking about to reimburse ticket costs but to cover any medical costs and if needed medical evacuation or repatriation of remains). Always, but especially now. One that can cover you abroad and ideally, should you be seriously ill or die, bring you home. In addition, anyone traveling in times of covid (on the Camino or elsewhere) should budget to cover at least two weeks in a hotel with delivered food/room service. Even if you’ve been vaccinated.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
All of the OP's questions, and the absence of definitive answers, are the reasons that my country's government still advises:
  • Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice
I am heeding that advice, recognizing that it is for my own good. Any decision to ignore that advice would be at my own risk.
 

emilep

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
Thanks to everyone for the answers.

To sum up the recommendations:
  • Get travel insurance (in case you have to change your return flights)
  • Check your health insurance for providers & hospitals they work with
  • Extra health insurance wouldn't hurt (in case things go south, and you don't have a choice of healthcare provider)
  • Budget for the possibility you do have to quarantine in a hotel & get food delivered for X days

Of the services people have recommended:
  • Allianz.com
  • Insuremytrip.com

Are there other travel / health insurance companies others recommend? In my experience, many of those companies sound great, until you actually use them. Many have terrible reviews on review sites like trustpilot.com.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
To sum up the recommendations:
  • Get travel insurance .....
Of the services people have recommended:
  • Allianz.com
  • Insuremytrip.com

Are there other travel / health insurance companies others recommend? In my experience, many of those companies sound great, until you actually use them. Many have terrible reviews on review sites like trustpilot.com.
I would never use Allianz again.
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
I’ve said this before but will again, as a physician who’s had to arrange medical transport from foreign countries: non-EU citizens (looking mostly at my fellow Americans here) should always have medical travel insurance (not talking about to reimburse ticket costs but to cover any medical costs and if needed medical evacuation or repatriation of remains). Always, but especially now. One that can cover you abroad and ideally, should you be seriously ill or die, bring you home. In addition, anyone traveling in times of covid (on the Camino or elsewhere) should budget to cover at least two weeks in a hotel with delivered food/room service. Even if you’ve been vaccinated.
If you're dead, going 'home' seems a bit irrelevant? For future reference, I'm absolutely fine with flushing my ashes down the nearest toilet. But totally take your point on checking insurance. It's not something that I ever did before beyond the headline 'benefits' as wading through 20 pages of print I can hardly read wasn't fun. Pretty important now though.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
If you're dead, going 'home' seems a bit irrelevant? For future reference, I'm absolutely fine with flushing my ashes down the nearest toilet. But totally take your point on checking insurance. It's not something that I ever did before beyond the headline 'benefits' as wading through 20 pages of print I can hardly read wasn't fun. Pretty important now though.
I agree it seems silly but: Repatriation of remains, like funerals, is never for the dead—they are for the living. Families already grieving their loss of you shouldn’t have to scramble to decide how to bring you home. I’ve done more death notifications than I care to recall—they all want you home. Even if you insist you want to be flushed, someone who loves you will be trying to negotiate getting you back in a language they don’t speak while taking out a second mortgage to cover the costs.

same applies if you are alive but incapacitated: families will go seriously into deep debt trying to bring you home. I’m begging all of you to get insurance
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Thanks to everyone for the answers.

To sum up the recommendations:
  • Get travel insurance (in case you have to change your return flights)
  • Check your health insurance for providers & hospitals they work with
  • Extra health insurance wouldn't hurt (in case things go south, and you don't have a choice of healthcare provider)
  • Budget for the possibility you do have to quarantine in a hotel & get food delivered for X days

Of the services people have recommended:
  • Allianz.com
  • Insuremytrip.com

Are there other travel / health insurance companies others recommend? In my experience, many of those companies sound great, until you actually use them. Many have terrible reviews on review sites like trustpilot.com.
You should check w/ your insurance —odds are good your US insurance won’t cover much so that “additional” insurance isn’t a nice to have supplement it’s actually your only insurance. If you ha e US government insurance—Medicare or Tricare (military), you will need additional insurance

buen Camino and stay healthy out there!
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
For those who want to ‘be flushed’ ... or left locally ... make sure you have a living will and have a long conversation with all of your next of kin, so that they don’t try to bring you home.
Even those conversations are “best laid plans”—my mother wanted to be scattered, made sure we all knew. No ceremony. We all agreed. This didn’t sit well w/ 2 sisters after the fact many years ago. I recently left flowers on her grave. My brother, seeing that, in hospice made those sisters and his wife and children promise to respect his “no ceremony” wishes. I left flowers at his grave last week and the ceremony (delayed by covid) is next month. Even parents, spouses, and children who think they are sincere in honoring requests, at the actual moment can change. This is why I’m hoping my nephew will pull the plug on me when it’s time —changing decision power from my sister bc I know she won’t.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Even those conversations are “best laid plans”—my mother wanted to be scattered, made sure we all knew. No ceremony. We all agreed. This didn’t sit well w/ 2 sisters after the fact many years ago. I recently left flowers on her grave. My brother, seeing that, in hospice made those sisters and his wife and children promise to respect his “no ceremony” wishes. I left flowers at his grave last week and the ceremony (delayed by covid) is next month. Even parents, spouses, and children who think they are sincere in honoring requests, at the actual moment can change. This is why I’m hoping my nephew will pull the plug on me when it’s time —changing decision power from my sister bc I know she won’t.
Why am I leaving flowers? Because the small cemetery chosen by one sister is closest to me of all the relatives (90 min away) but the area everyone plans to retire—and the sister who arranged it had in-laws buried there so it was easier for her to arrange short notice when she found she couldn’t go through with honoring my mother’s wishes. So I put flowers for the living, take pictures, and email them to the relatives who are comforted by it
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Even those conversations are “best laid plans”—my mother wanted to be scattered, made sure we all knew. No ceremony. We all agreed. This didn’t sit well w/ 2 sisters after the fact many years ago. I recently left flowers on her grave. My brother, seeing that, in hospice made those sisters and his wife and children promise to respect his “no ceremony” wishes. I left flowers at his grave last week and the ceremony (delayed by covid) is next month. Even parents, spouses, and children who think they are sincere in honoring requests, at the actual moment can change. This is why I’m hoping my nephew will pull the plug on me when it’s time —changing decision power from my sister bc I know she won’t.
IMO, any ceremony after a death is for those left behind. I'll let my family decide how they want to remember me. I don't want to control them from the grave.
 

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