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COVID What happens if you test positive in Spain?

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Note from mod: As you will see in later posts, some people apparently did not see the title of this post nor the quote from the Embassy. Just to make crystal clear — this thread is addressing the following situation ONLY: What happens if you enter Spain covid-free and test positive when you get the Covid test required by many countries before you can board a flight home? Thanks to forum members for providing the information needed. Spoiler alert — you will be quarantined for 10 days in a place determined by the public health authorities. What awaits further clarification is the issue of what is required before you will be released to travel home. Maybe a certain number of days without symptoms, maybe a new covid test, likely some official document confirming your status … the suspense continues, especially because the rules may vary from one comunidad autónoma to another.

On another thread, several of us started wondering about what the rules/protocols/best practices are if in fact you do test positive for covid when you take your required test the day or two before your flight.

I am not trying to stir the pot over whether it is wise to travel now, I am starting this thread only so that prospective pilgrims can have a realistic understanding of the risks they are taking if they decide to go to Spain. So please, don’t derail this thread.

The US Embassy has something on its webpage, but it is very vague and un-specific:

All travelers should have a plan in case they have to extend their stay if they test positive right before leaving Spain. Since COVID testing is required to enter the United States, there have been many instances where travelers who were planning to depart on scheduled flights have tested positive and have had to remain in Spain longer than originally planned. Spanish health authorities will instruct you to isolate/quarantine for a period of time (7 to 10 days minimum) in a local hotel at your own expense. The Embassy or Consulate cannot assist you in getting back to the United States earlier than prescribed by Spanish health authorities or provide monetary assistance for any required extended lodging.

I think everyone knows what the requirements are for re-entry into their home country — what kind of test, how many days before leaving, negative result.

And we’ve done a good job of finding out options for testing in Santiago and at the Madrid airport.

But one big puzzle piece missing is what happens if you test positive.

The CDC (speaking only about the US here) does not have any regulation that I can see that would require you to quarantine for a length of time after a positive test. In part, that may be because the CDC will have no way of KNOWING whether you have tested positive.

So, I am assuming that this is a question of Spanish law and public health regulations, but I have been stumped in my efforts to find them. I also wonder if this could vary region by region, since my understanding is that the regulations are determined at the level of comunidad autónoma.
 
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The US Embassy [says]
...
Spanish health authorities will instruct you to isolate/quarantine for a period of time (7 to 10 days minimum) in a local hotel at your own expense.
Perhaps a Santiago resident can find a hotel or two that the authorities direct covid infected pilgrims to and ask how they handle food and medicine delivery, laundry (and whether the all important wifi is available). What do the authorities require them (the hotels) to do. Anything else to ask a hotel?
 

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
Perhaps a Santiago resident can find a hotel or two that the authorities direct covid infected pilgrims to and ask how they handle food and medicine delivery, laundry (and whether the all important wifi is available). What do the authorities require them (the hotels) to do. Anything else to ask a hotel?
Perhaps a Santiago resident can find a hotel or two that the authorities direct covid infected pilgrims to and ask how they handle food and medicine delivery, laundry (and whether the all important wifi is available). What do the authorities require them (the hotels) to do. Anything else to ask a hotel?
Where is @SYates when we need her 🙂?
 
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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
It would be good if we had answers for SdC, Madrid, Barcelona and Pamplona…I think those are the main cities pilgrims use, each in its own region with undoubtedly their own rules

I think food, meds, laundry and WiFi covers it all, WiFi being most important and in the hotels I used pretty much nonexistent. Unless you count wine separate from food, then add that for the pilgrims who drink.
 
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Inglese 2021
On another thread, several of us started wondering about what the rules/protocols/best practices are if in fact you do test positive for covid when you take your required test the day or two before your flight.

I am not trying to stir the pot over whether it is wise to travel now, I am starting this thread only so that prospective pilgrims can have a realistic understanding of the risks they are taking if they decide to go to Spain. So please, don’t derail this thread.

The US Embassy has something on its webpage, but it is very vague and un-specific:

All travelers should have a plan in case they have to extend their stay if they test positive right before leaving Spain. Since COVID testing is required to enter the United States, there have been many instances where travelers who were planning to depart on scheduled flights have tested positive and have had to remain in Spain longer than originally planned. Spanish health authorities will instruct you to isolate/quarantine for a period of time (7 to 10 days minimum) in a local hotel at your own expense. The Embassy or Consulate cannot assist you in getting back to the United States earlier than prescribed by Spanish health authorities or provide monetary assistance for any required extended lodging.

I think everyone knows what the requirements are for re-entry into their home country — what kind of test, how many days before leaving, negative result.

And we’ve done a good job of finding out options for testing in Santiago and at the Madrid airport.

But one big puzzle piece missing is what happens if you test positive.

The CDC (speaking only about the US here) does not have any regulation that I can see that would require you to quarantine for a length of time after a positive test. In part, that may be because the CDC will have no way of KNOWING whether you have tested positive.

So, I am assuming that this is a question of Spanish law and public health regulations, but I have been stumped in my efforts to find them. I also wonder if this could vary region by region, since my understanding is that the regulations are determined at the level of comunidad autónoma.
if you test positive you need documentation of recovery to board a plane back to the US:

"If you are traveling with documentation of recovery, you must present paper or electronic copies of your positive test result (dated no more than 90 days ago) and a signed letter, on official letterhead that contains the name, address, and phone number of a licensed healthcare provider or public health official, stating that you have been cleared to end isolation and therefore can travel. A letter that states that you have been cleared to end isolation to return to work or school is also acceptable. The letter does not have to specifically mention travel."

from The CDC website:

 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
if you test positive you need documentation of recovery to board a plane back to the US:
Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I am trying to figure out what Spain will require pilgrims to do before they will release them to return to the US. The Embassy site says basically — just be prepared to quarantine for 7-10 days. I’d like to know how that works, who decides, what the conditions of the quarantine are, where they send you. Surely that information is enshrined in some public document somewhere.
 

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 test positive you need documentation of recovery to board a plane back to the US:

"If you are traveling with documentation of recovery, you must present paper or electronic copies of your positive test result (dated no more than 90 days ago) and a signed letter, on official letterhead that contains the name, address, and phone number of a licensed healthcare provider or public health official, stating that you have been cleared to end isolation and therefore can travel. A letter that states that you have been cleared to end isolation to return to work or school is also acceptable. The letter does not have to specifically mention travel."

from The CDC website:

Sounds like people should stay abreast of what the isolation requirements are for the region that contains their Spanish city of departure, and plan their worst case scenario around that.
 
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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
Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I am trying to figure out what Spain will require pilgrims to do before they will release them to return to the US. The Embassy site says basically — just be prepared to quarantine for 7-10 days. I’d like to know how that works, who decides, what the conditions of the quarantine are, where they send you. Surely that information is enshrined in some public document somewhere.
I’ve been searching several pages of the Ministry of Health and regional public health with no luck. Infografics on the ministry’s page does make it seem isolation is required for covid positive Spaniards and their close contacts must quarantine but I can’t find specific instructions for tourists. This however may be handy for travels to have, it’s the contact phone numbers for each region. My spoken Spanish is worse than my written which is abysmal so I’m not calling but ppl may want to take the numbers with them.
 

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 been searching several pages of the Ministry of Health and regional public health with no luck. Infografics on the ministry’s page does make it seem isolation is required for covid positive Spaniards and their close contacts must quarantine but I can’t find specific instructions for tourists. This however may be handy for travels to have, it’s the contact phone numbers for each region. My spoken Spanish is worse than my written which is abysmal so I’m not calling but ppl may want to take the numbers with them.
I’ve spent a few hours clicking on a variety of links to regional public health departments, tourism department, and Ministry of Health. All the isolation and quarantine info I could find referred to people who have symptoms and those in close contact with them (isolation and quarantine respectively). No where could I find mention of asymptomatic travelers with a positive predeparture test (other than US embassy reference to it could mean you must isolate for 10 days or so). On Madrid’s page it said travelers who are sick w/ covid symptoms should isolate and call that number that I listed above for guidance. Nothing again about asymptomatic travelers. Until we hear from SYates or Ivan or… I think the answer will be once a test is positive you will be given a number to call and public health when they answer will tell you what to do. In defense of no clear written rules (that I can find at least) it may be that it’s easier to deal with things evolving so quickly by not carving things in stone. It seems to me the answer will be isolate (probably ten days as it seems to be the number most people are using). I hope someone on the ground in Spain can give links to written guidance or at least give an idea of what they’re doing currently, especially answering the question of where isolation would take place, who pays for it, and if traveling companions of a positive person in isolation must also go into quarantine (again, isolation for someone w the disease, quarantine for those exposed).

this isn’t a criticism, couldn’t find that info on CDC pages or California public health page for travelers here.

wasn’t there a previous post about some covid positive pilgrims? I didn’t read it and now can’t find it. Tell me how to find it and I may be able to figure out from that how to find current Spanish isolation requirements.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Sorry, I can't supply official information but rather first hand information from someone on the ground.

A Spanish friend of mine who lives in The Netherlands was visiting family last summer. They live in a town in Soria (Castilla y León). While there, a niece visiting from Madrid tested positive. All family members who had come in contact with her isolated for 5 days and then were tested. As the results were negative they were then free to move about. I don't know whether this is common practice in other autonomous regions. And of course last year there were no vaccines.

Ten days isolation sounds long if non symptomatic, especially if you are vaccinated. Here in The Netherlands it is also 5 days if one comes in contact with someone who tests positive.

@peregrina2000 Laurie maybe a call to one of the labs in Santiago performing PCR tests will give you the information you're looking for? I used Laboratoria Clínica Compostela.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@LTfit I think people are trying to find out what happens if they themselves test positive, rather than just a close contact of someone else. What happened to the niece who tested positive? What did she have to do?
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
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Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

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Hi ;-)

So far this cases have been thankfully very rare among pilgrims and so far, as I know, only Spanish pilgrims have been affected. Here is what has been done and what I know:

You have to self-isolate where you are until you know the test result.
The Spanish health authorities will tell you what comes next but typically, when testing positive, you will be assigned a hotel or albergue to stay at in isolation (not allowed) to leave the room.
The hotel/albergue or other place you are staying at will get food and other necessities to you, basically leaving it before your door.
People that live in Spain have been allowed to return from the Camino to their homes in Spain by private car, like in the case of students that got picked up by car by a parent and driven directly to the family home.
When you can leave isolation depends on if you develop symptoms etc. and when you test negative again.
The simplest answer is really: Just follow the instructions given to you exactly, and yes, obviously you have to cover the costs.

In Galicia there is also a 'Camino Covid insurance' in place that MIGHT cover some of the accommodation costs, again, the health care providers will tell you more.

Hope that helps, SY
 
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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
Hi ;-)

So far this cases have been thankfully very rare among pilgrims and so far, as I know, only Spanish pilgrims have been affected. Here is what has been done and what I know:

You have to self-isolate where you are until you know the test result.
The Spanish health authorities will tell you what comes next but typically, when testing positive, you will be assigned a hotel or albergue to stay at in isolation (not allowed) to leave the room.
The hotel/albergue or other place you are staying at will get food and other necessities to you, basically leaving it before your door.
People that live in Spain have been allowed to return from the Camino to their homes in Spain by private car, like in the case of students that got picked up by car by a parent and driven directly to the family home.
When you can leave isolation depends on if you develop symptoms etc. and when you test negative again.
The simplest answer is really: Just follow the instructions given to you exactly, and yes, obviously you have to cover the costs.

In Galicia there is also a 'Camino Covid insurance' in place that MIGHT cover some of the accommodation costs, again, the health care providers will tell you more.

Hope that helps, SY
As always, @SYates to the rescue
 

jerbear

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
Hi ;-)

So far this cases have been thankfully very rare among pilgrims and so far, as I know, only Spanish pilgrims have been affected. Here is what has been done and what I know:

You have to self-isolate where you are until you know the test result.
The Spanish health authorities will tell you what comes next but typically, when testing positive, you will be assigned a hotel or albergue to stay at in isolation (not allowed) to leave the room.
The hotel/albergue or other place you are staying at will get food and other necessities to you, basically leaving it before your door.
People that live in Spain have been allowed to return from the Camino to their homes in Spain by private car, like in the case of students that got picked up by car by a parent and driven directly to the family home.
When you can leave isolation depends on if you develop symptoms etc. and when you test negative again.
The simplest answer is really: Just follow the instructions given to you exactly, and yes, obviously you have to cover the costs.

In Galicia there is also a 'Camino Covid insurance' in place that MIGHT cover some of the accommodation costs, again, the health care providers will tell you more.

Hope that helps, SY
Thank you, sy
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
SYates nails it, indeed, both for people in close contact with sick people and for people who test positive themselves. My guess is the SERGAS, the Galician Health System, will give you instructions on how to proceed. What happens in Madrid, I would not know, it can change from one region to another, but it seems reasonable to expect you would have to be isolated for some time, till you are negative again, perhaps not necessarily 10 days. Now antigen tests are available over the counter, no prescription needed, they must cost arount 7-10 euro.

Cross my fingers nobody undergoes this on their return home!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi ;-)

So far this cases have been thankfully very rare among pilgrims and so far, as I know, only Spanish pilgrims have been affected. Here is what has been done and what I know:

You have to self-isolate where you are until you know the test result.
The Spanish health authorities will tell you what comes next but typically, when testing positive, you will be assigned a hotel or albergue to stay at in isolation (not allowed) to leave the room.
The hotel/albergue or other place you are staying at will get food and other necessities to you, basically leaving it before your door.
People that live in Spain have been allowed to return from the Camino to their homes in Spain by private car, like in the case of students that got picked up by car by a parent and driven directly to the family home.
When you can leave isolation depends on if you develop symptoms etc. and when you test negative again.
The simplest answer is really: Just follow the instructions given to you exactly, and yes, obviously you have to cover the costs.

In Galicia there is also a 'Camino Covid insurance' in place that MIGHT cover some of the accommodation costs, again, the health care providers will tell you more.

Hope that helps, SY
But we still don't know how many days is necessary to isolate should one be tested positive.

@Kanga you're right. I will ask my friend how long her niece had to isolate after testing positive though this year may be another story.
 
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A friend tested positive in Pamplona last week. She gave all her contacts, who were contacted by the Health people. Each one was classified as a close contact, or not. She herself had to go into quarantine for ten days. If by Friday afternoon she is clear of symptoms, she may leave quarantine. She will not receive a test, as it would show positive still. I am not sure how helpful this is, as it is anecdote rather than written protocol.
I just found this article which is more objective:
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
She will not receive a test, as it would show positive still. I am not sure how helpful this is, as it is anecdote rather than written protocol.
Not necessarily. My son-in-law tested positive on Saturday after being in contact with a friend who was also positive. Here in The Netherlands you have to quarantine for 5 days if symptom free and retest which he has done. He just heard that the PCR is negative and so can now leave the house. But, he is already vaccinated. I wonder if that makes a difference in Spain🤔
 
Last edited:

SarahPriestman

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Future
On another thread, several of us started wondering about what the rules/protocols/best practices are if in fact you do test positive for covid when you take your required test the day or two before your flight.

I am not trying to stir the pot over whether it is wise to travel now, I am starting this thread only so that prospective pilgrims can have a realistic understanding of the risks they are taking if they decide to go to Spain. So please, don’t derail this thread.

The US Embassy has something on its webpage, but it is very vague and un-specific:

All travelers should have a plan in case they have to extend their stay if they test positive right before leaving Spain. Since COVID testing is required to enter the United States, there have been many instances where travelers who were planning to depart on scheduled flights have tested positive and have had to remain in Spain longer than originally planned. Spanish health authorities will instruct you to isolate/quarantine for a period of time (7 to 10 days minimum) in a local hotel at your own expense. The Embassy or Consulate cannot assist you in getting back to the United States earlier than prescribed by Spanish health authorities or provide monetary assistance for any required extended lodging.

I think everyone knows what the requirements are for re-entry into their home country — what kind of test, how many days before leaving, negative result.

And we’ve done a good job of finding out options for testing in Santiago and at the Madrid airport.

But one big puzzle piece missing is what happens if you test positive.

The CDC (speaking only about the US here) does not have any regulation that I can see that would require you to quarantine for a length of time after a positive test. In part, that may be because the CDC will have no way of KNOWING whether you have tested positive.

So, I am assuming that this is a question of Spanish law and public health regulations, but I have been stumped in my efforts to find them. I also wonder if this could vary region by region, since my understanding is that the regulations are determined at the level of comunidad autónoma.
Thank you! If folks also have info on testing positive in Spain, but planning to return home via a flight from Porto (so entering Portugal again after finishing Camino), please share.
Thank you,
Sarah
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you! If folks also have info on testing positive in Spain, but planning to return home via a flight from Porto (so entering Portugal again after finishing Camino), please share.
Thank you,
Sarah
Wow, that sets up a whole new connect-the-dots, having to deal with two countries and their covid protocols.

I guess you’re probably stuck with your flight arrangements, @SarahPriestman. There have been several forum members routinely advising that travel be as direct as possible without transit on the way to Spain or home, and your question provides another reason why crossing borders for travel might be complicated. But I suppose at some point we just can’t worry about everything.

Based on all the interesting first hand information forum members have provided, I’m wondering whether there is a reason to choose the more accurate PCR test over the antigen test if you have time to do both. What I had read was that the antigen test gave more false negatives, but I wonder about false positives.

I’m assuming most of us who are planning/hoping to walk soon will be vaccinated, in which case if we get covid, we could very well be asymptomatic and never know it till we get the test!
 

SarahPriestman

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Future
Thank you. I made my flight plans as RT from Porto, thus this situation.
Maybe I should try to change it.
Thanks for all your information.
Another unknown is what quarantining really means.
What hotel would risk hosting someone with Covid?
Can one go out fir food?
Etc etc
I’m still thinking it through…
Thanks again for your insights.
Sarah
 
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Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Thank you! If folks also have info on testing positive in Spain, but planning to return home via a flight from Porto (so entering Portugal again after finishing Camino), please share.
Thank you,
Sarah
If you have no indication that you have covid and don't think you might have caught it then don't fly from Santiago to Porto, travel overland. That way there should only be one test. I don't see why you would be tested in Spain.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
I got a message from a pilgrim yesterday that had a flight home today. She did her PCR yesterday (for use at the airport)... it was positive. She was told to go to her hotel and wait for a call from a doctor from SERGAS (public health service in Galicia). Not sure what happened after that. I have not ready any news related to if SERGAS has a particular hotel they use for these cases (my feeling is that they do not). My guess is that you just need to stay put at the place you are.... By the way, this pilgrim had no symptoms. But it sucks.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I don't see why you would be tested in Spain.
Timing?

I actually don't see a problem with having the test in Spain for a flight departing from Portugal. The test centre in Spain will issue a test certificate with a code that is recognised in Portugal. I should think that it is standard by now (EU certificate system). Or do you see an issue at the destination airport in the USA? I can't imagine that it would be an issue either.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you. I made my flight plans as RT from Porto, thus this situation.
Maybe I should try to change it.
Thanks for all your information.
Another unknown is what quarantining really means.
What hotel would risk hosting someone with Covid?
Can one go out fir food?
Etc etc
I’m still thinking it through…
Thanks again for your insights.
Sarah
I didn’t mean to cause unnecessary worry and I really have no idea about how it would work — my only thought was, ok I get covid in Spain, now how do I get into Portugal when it’s all done to get my flight home, but I think Kathar1na is right that this wouldn’t add any more complication to what would already be an unwelcome complication.
 
Past OR future Camino
2009
On another thread, several of us started wondering about what the rules/protocols/best practices are if in fact you do test positive for covid when you take your required test the day or two before your flight.

I am not trying to stir the pot over whether it is wise to travel now, I am starting this thread only so that prospective pilgrims can have a realistic understanding of the risks they are taking if they decide to go to Spain. So please, don’t derail this thread.

The US Embassy has something on its webpage, but it is very vague and un-specific:

All travelers should have a plan in case they have to extend their stay if they test positive right before leaving Spain. Since COVID testing is required to enter the United States, there have been many instances where travelers who were planning to depart on scheduled flights have tested positive and have had to remain in Spain longer than originally planned. Spanish health authorities will instruct you to isolate/quarantine for a period of time (7 to 10 days minimum) in a local hotel at your own expense. The Embassy or Consulate cannot assist you in getting back to the United States earlier than prescribed by Spanish health authorities or provide monetary assistance for any required extended lodging.

I think everyone knows what the requirements are for re-entry into their home country — what kind of test, how many days before leaving, negative result.

And we’ve done a good job of finding out options for testing in Santiago and at the Madrid airport.

But one big puzzle piece missing is what happens if you test positive.

The CDC (speaking only about the US here) does not have any regulation that I can see that would require you to quarantine for a length of time after a positive test. In part, that may be because the CDC will have no way of KNOWING whether you have tested positive.

So, I am assuming that this is a question of Spanish law and public health regulations, but I have been stumped in my efforts to find them. I also wonder if this could vary region by region, since my understanding is that the regulations are determined at the level of comunidad autónoma.
As regards your final point, irrespective of the laws of either Spain or the USA, if one tests positive before a flight I would expect the airline to refuse boarding. The liability ($$$.....) of an airline who knowingly allowed an infected passenger to board would be astronomical.
 
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pjacobi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
If still employed, how you do explain testing positive for COVID and being stuck in Spain for another 7-10 days to your boss?


-Paul
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
As regards your final point, irrespective of the laws of either Spain or the USA, if one tests positive before a flight I would expect the airline to refuse boarding.
Yes of course, that is the whole point of the testing after all. I don‘t think there is any doubt about that. I think that the point of these more recent posts is to help us sort out questions about where do we go and what do we do if we test positive on the day or two before our flight, since we definitely won’t be getting on the plane as planned. And then, how long must we wait to return home and what kind of documentation will be required for us to get on the plane.

I think that we now all have a pretty good idea that a positive test before departure is likely to add a 5-10 day quarantine in a hotel to our camino. So this is just something for people to keep in mind when weighing the risks of walking.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I think that we now all have a pretty good idea that a positive test before departure is likely to add a 5-10 day quarantine in a hotel to our camino. So this is just something for people to keep in mind when weighing the risks of walking.
I'm quoting from memory, so could be inaccurate: When you are ill/infected, confirmed by a PCR test, you need to quarantine for 10 days in Spain - I don't know where and who pays.

An EU conform certificate of recovery, good for flying out, can be issued at the earliest 11 days after the first positive test. This is a common rule and/or recommendation and mentioned for example in this recent information note issued by the Spanish government. Obviously, a doctor will have to make the assessment (no symptoms etc).
 

Kathar1na

Member
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Timing?

I actually don't see a problem with having the test in Spain for a flight departing from Portugal. The test centre in Spain will issue a test certificate with a code that is recognised in Portugal. I should think that it is standard by now (EU certificate system). Or do you see an issue at the destination airport in the USA? I can't imagine that it would be an issue either.
If quarantined the closer you are to the flight home the fewer complications you will have when you do get the chance to leave. You might be able to leave a day earlier and start working on getting your next paycheck.
 
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Full Camino, St Jean Pied de Port - Santiago de Compostela and on to Finisterre, planning now from Friday 25 August 2017 to Monday 2 October 2017
I thought about doing a Camino this year after having cancelled the Norte last year. I have already done 5 Caminos, however having read all of this on here plus similar on other sites I have come to the conclusion the safest thing for a 76 year old who is ''double jabbed'', to do, is to stop at home this year and perhaps things will improve in 2022
 

MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
Thank you. I made my flight plans as RT from Porto, thus this situation.
Maybe I should try to change it.
Thanks for all your information.
Another unknown is what quarantining really means.
What hotel would risk hosting someone with Covid?
Can one go out fir food?
Etc etc
I’m still thinking it through…
Thanks again for your insights.
Sarah

Spanish health authorities will instruct you to isolate/quarantine for a period of time (7 to 10 days minimum) in a local hotel at your own expense.

Quarantaine means that you cannot go out. Why would they let anyone who has tested positive roam the streets? People who tested positive for COVID are a potential health hazard and the public needs protection from health hazards.

You may feel great, but that does not mean that you won't spread the virus.

So you'll stay in your room, your food will be brought and put in front of the door. You will probably have to do your own cleaning while you stay there.

Make sure you have something to read and do some yoga. And count yourself lucky if you get out that room without further complications.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
If still employed, how you do explain testing positive for COVID and being stuck in Spain for another 7-10 days to your boss?


-Paul
You need to take into account before you travel that this might happen.
Traveling during a pandemic is no time for cutting things too close.
 

Bogong

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
First, March 2014
As regards your final point, irrespective of the laws of either Spain or the USA, if one tests positive before a flight I would expect the airline to refuse boarding. The liability ($$$.....) of an airline who knowingly allowed an infected passenger to board would be astronomical.
I must say I’ve been a bit horrified by some of this discussion. If you are planning to go overseas, to Spain or indeed anywhere, and you test positive just before you go, you have a moral responsibility and even in some cases a legal obligation, not to go. The point that airlines may refuse you boarding is well taken. Wait until you test clear. At least when I walked there were many tiny largely deserted villages with small elderly populations. High at risk groups. To travel while infectious would be utterly irresponsible and selfish and if you’re caught I hope you’re heavily fined and preferably locked up too.

De Colores,

Bogong
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I must say I’ve been a bit horrified by some of this discussion. If you are planning to go overseas, to Spain or indeed anywhere, and you test positive just before you go, you have a moral responsibility and even in some cases a legal obligation, not to go.
I think everyone would agree with that. The question on this thread is what happens if someone contracts Covid while in Spain and therefore cannot go home as planned. I.e. what are they required to do while in Spain and unable to travel?
 

Bogong

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
First, March 2014
Looking at the first post on this topic again, it was clear to me at least in the first two paragraphs that it was about testing positive before you hopped on a flight to Spain. There was a later post seeking to clarify this into the effcts of catching the virus in Spain before returning home. I could be wrong but at risk of offending anyone, for which I apologise it seems to reflect a possibly arrogant assumption thatour country of origin somehow does things better than Spain. If you test positive, even if asymptomatic, you should be in isolation whether you are going or returning until you're tested and cleared. And if you have not been fully vaccinated don't go.

Bogong
 
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You need to take into account before you travel that this might happen.
Traveling during a pandemic is no time for cutting things too close.
Thank you for those posting up-to-date information here - it's a valuable reality check.

It's very easy to think 'it won't happen to me,' but given what's unfolding right now, who knows?

Testing positive in Santiago before an international flight home would be a super-expensive nightmare. If you go anyway, make sure you have a plan B, deep pockets, lots of insurance, and are able to put aside work and family responsibilities for however long it will take for the situation to resolve.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Looking at the first post on this topic again, it was clear to me at least in the first two paragraphs that it was about testing positive before you hopped on a flight to Spain
I'm afraid that you have misread/misinterpreted this thread. The title is clearly What happens if you test positive in Spain? Not before you arrive to begin your Camino, but sometime during or after your Camino and before you board your flight home.
Anyone who is traveling during a pandemic has to consider what will happen if they test positive before they return home, and as @VNwalking said have contingency plans and the financial wherewithal to deal with the situation, which at best will mean some time in quarantine at your expense, or time in the hospital - again at your expense.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Looking at the first post on this topic again, it was clear to me at least in the first two paragraphs that it was about testing positive before you hopped on a flight to Spain.
I've gone back and re-read the first post in this thread. You are right that it was not really clear in the post that the discussion was specifically about the trip returning from Spain. That detail was in the title, but it would be easy to miss, especially if you were unaware of the previous thread. Sorry for the confusion!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Thank you for those posting up-to-date information here - it's a valuable reality check.

It's very easy to think 'it won't happen to me,' but given what's unfolding right now, who knows?

Testing positive in Santiago before an international flight home would be a super-expensive nightmare. If you go anyway, make sure you have a plan B, deep pockets, lots of insurance, and are able to put aside work and family responsibilities for however long it will take for the situation to resolve.
I have a question about time. I shall be in Spain for 82 days, from mid September to late November. The only PCR test which I expect to take will be at the airport in Madrid, the day before I am booked to fly home. I shall then be nine days short of the ninety maximum for tourists in Spain. I am wondering if I am likely to be obliged to do a ten day quarantine, then arrested for overstaying my welcome, or more likely, informed that since I stayed past my permitted time in Spain I shall never be allowed to return. This is not really a serious query, although the facts are accurate. Rather , I am reflecting on the nightmare reality of all that can happen to pilgrims in Spain who choose to walk in time of pandemic. I know that, if I get sick, it will almost certainly be while I am volunteering in a pilgrim albergue. I may have enough time after that to do a quarantine then return home. As fully vaccinated, I think my risks from the virus are low, but my risk of spreading it in a communal setting is high (few or no symptoms and close proximity). There are no answers to this dilemma in which I have put myself, except that I shall do my best to answer my call to pilgrimage and to serve the pilgrims in the albergue in this particularly problematical year.
 
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2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
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I shall then be nine days short of the ninety maximum for tourists in Spain. I am wondering if I am likely to be obliged to do a ten day quarantine, then arrested for overstaying my welcome, or more likely, informed that since I stayed past my permitted time in Spain I shall never be allowed to return. This is not really a serious query, although the facts are accurate. Rather , I am reflecting on the nightmare reality of all that can happen to pilgrims in Spain who choose to walk in time of pandemic.
OMG, that only adds to the nightmare. Thank you for bringing this up, @Albertagirl - I had not thought of it. Does anyone know?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I had not thought of it. Does anyone know?
In theory you need to apply for an extension beyond the 90 days on the grounds of having to stay to receive medical care/public health reasons. In practice ... who knows. My guess is that you will be waived through by border control staff without getting an overstay stamp in your passport and all you need to have with you, if you do get checked, are some appropriate documents from the health services and/or your positive PCR test. Go to the airport with plenty of time before take-off, just in case. ☺️

In the spring of 2020, when so many travellers couldn't leave in time, the EU countries had adopted policies to deal with this, see Extensions of Legal Stay related to Covid-19 - National Practices and look for Extension of initial visa-free stay (expiry of the 90-day deadline). But that was an exceptional period of time that is now over. So my guess is that they deal with such cases (positive PCR test before departure of flight home) just like they deal with other cases when a traveller gets unexpectedly ill and is not fit for travel/not allowed to travel and needs to stay beyond the expiry of the 90-day deadline.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Extension of initial visa-free stay (expiry of the 90-day deadline)
Spain had adopted an elegant and simple solution: If you were in Spain during the State of Alarm situation and had reached the 90 days deadline, your right to stay legally in Spain was automatically extended by three months. However, you needed to stay in Spain and were not entitled to travel to other Schengen countries on this basis. But this is now over (Orden SND/421/2020).
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
There is a long article in La Vanguardia, dated 13 July 2021, Hoteles covid, controles... así gestionan la llegada de turistas las comunidades en plena quinta ola.

The article is behind a paywall but I managed to see some of the article. Perhaps someone has a subscription or knows someone how has one and could summarise the relevant information? The article has details of what happens when you are a tourist and get ill with Covid-19 or have a positive test. Quote:

And once inside Spanish territory, how are quarantines of tourists controlled? What happens if a person has symptoms during their stay? The different autonomous communities are responsible for these questions. Here are the measures taken by the most touristic regions to keep Covid at bay at the height of the high season.
A description of procedures in a number of Spanish regions follows, among them the Balearic and Canary islands, Andalusia, Catalonia, Pais Vasco and Madrid but not Galicia in what I managed to glimpse of the article.
 
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Kathar1na

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A bit more: Google "Hotel Refugio" or "Hospitality Tourism 2021" to read about a program used in the region of Valencia and possibly in other regions. The region has contracts with a number of hotels where tourists can/must isolate/quarantine. For example, a hotel under contract reserves all the rooms of a whole floor for this purpose. The hotels are not keen on making these services widely known as they fear negative PR consequences. The costs of stay ought to be paid by the traveller's insurance and/or the traveller himself/herself. Some regions have negotiated an expensive insurance contract with an insurance company (AXA for example) who will cover the costs when the traveller cannot pay, or as in the case of Galicia, the insurance company will pay anyway under certain circumstances.

Galicia concluded such a contract with Europ Assistance and paid €1.4 million for this insurance policy.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Spain had adopted an elegant and simple solution: If you were in Spain during the State of Alarm situation and had reached the 90 days deadline, your right to stay legally in Spain was automatically extended by three months. However, you needed to stay in Spain and were not entitled to travel to other Schengen countries on this basis. But this is now over (Orden SND/421/2020).
This is useful information, thank you.

It is perhaps worthwhile emphasizing the possible complications if your flight home is not a direct flight and goes via another Schengen county. That next Schengen county may not be so understanding and you may still get an overstayer stamp in your passport.
 
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It is perhaps worthwhile emphasizing the possible complications if your flight home is not a direct flight and goes via another Schengen county.
Yes. Good point. You can bet your last Euro that Switzerland (for example) will be watching the clock down to the second. Maybe with documentation they'll let you through, but you might be stuck in limbo long enough to miss your connection
 

MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
This is useful information, thank you.

It is perhaps worthwhile emphasizing the possible complications if your flight home is not a direct flight and goes via another Schengen county. That next Schengen county may not be so understanding and you may still get an overstayer stamp in your passport.

If you overstay your welcome due to having to quarantine, you will have missed your flight anyway. The next step would depend on the kind of ticket that you have.
 

Lexicos

Jimmy
Past OR future Camino
2019
… all these complex considerations, in a country well away from home where even the language is a mystery, let alone the workings of unfamiliar laws, rules, health system and protocols, would simply knock the fun out of it for me. A very personal view here, forgive. Much as I would love to be there walking the Camino this minute, I for one will wait until the fog clears a little so that what you have to do and what you can’t do is very clear. And it will be, in due course. It’s one of those things that needs a bit of time and a lot of patience. For those of you who take the plunge, good on you and good luck. If you succeed I’m sure others will follow.
 
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Grousedoctor

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Planning for a “what if” situation, my wife and I purchased travel insurance through Allianz for our upcoming September Camino. Based on their description of what was covered related to COVID, it looks as though compensation for costs while quarantining and trip interruption (ie., flight cost changes) could be reimbursed. Ideally, as with any insurance, we won’t have to use. But, in case either one of use tested positive at Bajaras before returning home, there is some peace of mind that the travel insurance might cover unplanned expenses related to COVID.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
based on the current advice the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recommends against all but essential travel to pretty much all of Spain
The ECDC does not issue any recommendations for or against travel.

The ECDC collects Covid-19 related data from all EU countries and usually once a week they publish not just one but five different colour maps (the one about the 14-day case notification rate shown above and four others) that can be used by EU countries to assess risk levels for travel to and from these countries within the EU.

The indicator that is illustrated by the map above is high for Spain, hence so much red and dark red, but there is currently an ongoing debate about how useful this indicator is now that the vaccination campaigns have made such good progress and/or how this indicator should be weighted or whether other indicators should be included to assess public health risk levels in a meaningful way for travelling.

So it's a bit more complicated than it looks at first sight but yes, it would be nicer if Spain and Portugal were green. Has any of the EU countries actually issued an official warning against all but essential travel to Spain (I'm just asking, I really don't know). My guess is that it mainly means that those who return from Spain and are not vaccinated will be subject to stricter rules such as testing and quarantines.
 
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simonpc

New Member
Past OR future Camino
nc 2019
The ECDC does not issue any recommendations for or against travel.

The ECDC collects Covid-19 related data from all EU countries and usually once a week they publish not just one but five different colour maps (the one about the 14-day case notification rate shown above and four others) that can be used by EU countries to assess risk levels for travel to and from these countries within the EU.

The indicator that is illustrated by the map above is high for Spain, hence so much red and dark red, but there is currently an ongoing debate about how useful this indicator is now that the vaccination campaigns have made such good progress and/or how this indicator should be weighted or whether other indicators should be included to assess public health risk levels in a meaningful way for travelling.

So it's a bit more complicated than it looks at first sigh but yes, it would be nicer if Spain and Portugal were green. Has any of the EU countries actually issued an official warning against all but essential travel to Spain (I'm just asking, I really don't know).
Its a classification system - Dark red = high-risk - my understanding is that this infers travel only if essential. Obviously diiferent countries have different rules based on individual criteria.
 
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Kathar1na

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In view of the thread title: the map infers mainly that everyone's chances of testing positive before departure from Spain are increasing a little bit. :(
 

DarcyWalksThe World

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I was checking in the municipal albergue in Ponferrada when 2 Italian boys had elevated temperatures. They had them rest a few minutes and took the temps again—still too high. They tested them both—positive. And off they went to an official quarantine center in Valladolid for 10 days. Spain paid.
One kid had Covid in December, had both jabs of Pfizer vaccine and still was positive. He had very few symptoms at all.
The other kid only had one jab, but not the full vaccine and he felt quite bad for a few days.

We were in close contact with them the day before but they did not require our information. I just had my antigen test to fly back to the USA and I’m negative.
 
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They tested them both—positive. And off they went to an official quarantine center in Valladolid for 10 days. Spain paid.
I'm wondering though if a bill from SACYL, the health department of Castile and Leon, might be mailed to their homes in the next few months. It certainly would be more likely if they lived outside the EU.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I was checking in the municipal albergue in Ponferrada when 2 Italian boys had elevated temperatures. They had them rest a few minutes and took the temps again—still too high. They tested them both—positive. And off they went to an official quarantine center in Valladolid for 10 days. Spain paid. One kid had Covid in December, had both jabs of Pfizer vaccine and still was positive. He had very few symptoms at all. The other kid only had one jab, but not the full vaccine and he felt quite bad for a few days. We were in close contact with them the day before but they did not require our information. I just had my antigen test to fly back to the USA and I’m negative.
Thank you for this (rare) feedback about cases straight from the Camino Frances. Good to hear that those two have apparently recovered and everyone is ok, including you!
 
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Wow, that sets up a whole new connect-the-dots, having to deal with two countries and their covid protocols.

I guess you’re probably stuck with your flight arrangements, @SarahPriestman. There have been several forum members routinely advising that travel be as direct as possible without transit on the way to Spain or home, and your question provides another reason why crossing borders for travel might be complicated. But I suppose at some point we just can’t worry about everything.

Based on all the interesting first hand information forum members have provided, I’m wondering whether there is a reason to choose the more accurate PCR test over the antigen test if you have time to do both. What I had read was that the antigen test gave more false negatives, but I wonder about false positives.

I’m assuming most of us who are planning/hoping to walk soon will be vaccinated, in which case if we get covid, we could very well be asymptomatic and never know it till we get the test!
Canada requires pcr not antigen tests.
 
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