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COVID When would you consider going back to the camino?

I would come back...

  • when there is a vaccine

    Votes: 149 37.3%
  • for a camino in my own country

    Votes: 15 3.8%
  • the moment travel restrictions have lifted

    Votes: 173 43.3%
  • for a quiet camino staying in private accomodations

    Votes: 63 15.8%

  • Total voters
    400
Status
Not open for further replies.

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
In the UK, insurance companies are now specifically excluding COVID19 from all travel insurance policies for travel booked after 26th March (which was the date "lockdown" came into effect). I doubt that any insurance company anywhere will include cover for Covid.
As long as I'm still covered for a broken leg.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
A freind is giving me a nice bike, and I am filling up the hours getting it (and me) prepar
That is an option for the near future, cycling on the Camino, with a trailer it gives you more scope to be self sufficient from the point of view of loading a tent, carrying food and cooking accessories etc. You can respond better to situations around places to stay if that's what you want do as well as camping.
 
Camino(s) past & future
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
But the risk of travel is not just to the traveler, but possibly to all that they encounter.
Agreed. We do both think we already had the virus when the lockdown here in the UK was - eventually - called for. If the government had done it just two week's before, when it was waffling about whether it was necessary or not (!!!), we would not have gone down with it - we live in an area which serves our wonderful medical staff working at a nearby hospital. And up the road from a train station that goes straight into London in under 45 minutes. Topped with that, there were still people coming from all parts of the world to visit places just up the road from us. However, neither my husband nor I had it very badly - at least, not so bad that we had to call the hospital. We put this down to the cycling we've been doing for so long which helps our lungs to stay fit and healthy. But we did get it bad enough that some weeks later we were still getting up and down days. By the time the testing became available for anybody but essential workers, we were well and truly over it. Even when an antibody test is available here in the UK, we won't be considered priority. So will simply have to wait until a vaccine is available before we can happily travel once again.

France next year? Last time I looked we were right next to Spain, and also in Europe. Or did I misunderstand your timetable?
Oh yes, Barbara. We love France, and Spain of course. I think since as far back as the 1980s both my husband and I have got on our bikes and ridden through some of the most beautiful areas or the Loire Valley, Normandy, Brittany, and so many other areas. When we decided back in 2013 to cycle the Camino de Santiago, it was as if something very powerful was pulling us there - and, a bit like an itch, had to be scratched :). Our dilemma is that we are not both getting on in years (73 and 80 next year), and this year was earmarked to join the Semaine Federale cycling event. Very close to Caen it would have been perfect. Then walking part of the Camino next year. We may have to make a choice, and it's a tough one. We have been told we will get our money back for this year's cancellation, which is good.
 
Camino(s) past & future
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
Just a caveat: travel insurance policies always exclude pandemics from coverage.
Our insurance, taken out in the middle of January covered a "Travel Disruption Extension" - we had paid extra because, at our ages (72 and 79) we needed to be sure we could cancel if we needed to. When challenged, once we knew we had to cancel the holiday, we were told that it even covered Covid-19. However, there was a catch as it soon became pretty obvious that they were going to fight tooth and nail against having to pay us back (completely understandable really). So instead, as we have fortunately received the cost of the holiday back from the organisation we were doing it with, we have accepted a Credit Note. Now all we need to do is hope the insurance company doesn't go under before we can use the cover for when we can get away again.

Of course, the insurance cover may prove to be useless if they insist on charging us a much higher rate given the uncertainty on how this might all pan out.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
I have been keeping an eye on this thread. Yesterday I came across an app from the Dept of Foreign Affairs in Ireland.
The answer to the opening question for me is: not before Ireland is green, and Spain is green. This screenshot from the app gives the context for my answer:Screenshot 2020-05-12 at 11.40.53.png
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Have you heard when international travel will open again and if rooms will be available later in August on the Camino?
Spain has just announced that any international visitors will have to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel or house. They will be allowed to go to a medical center, pharmacy, or supermarket, and must wear a mask. The Director of the Emergency Response agency expects that this restriction will last for the entire period of the transition phases. The end of the article notes that there are rumblings about special pacts among certain European countries, specifically Italy, Germany, France and Spain, which would lift those restrictions for travel within the countries in the pact, something that is much desired by the tourism sector.
 

Introvert Fab

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2020
I am still planing on going in September 2020. Don't want to go into why I think it will be ok, don't want to start any polemic discussion. I will be staying in private rooms with private bathroom and keep my 6ft distance from people, but I will go. Call me crazy.
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Spain has just announced that any international visitors will have to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel or house. They will be allowed to go to a medical center, pharmacy, or supermarket, and must wear a mask. The Director of the Emergency Response agency expects that this restriction will last for the entire period of the transition phases. The end of the article notes that there are rumblings about special pacts among certain European countries, specifically Italy, Germany, France and Spain, which would lift those restrictions for travel within the countries in the pact, something that is much desired by the tourism sector.
In the articles I read about this it was said that this obligation to quarantine would last as long as the state of emergency will last. The government aims for somewhere in June. So that will probably more or less coincide with the date until the borders are closed anyway.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
I need two things to happen before I return:
- Spain officially welcomes back international Camino-walkers
- Canada must lift international travel restrictions so I can obtain travel insurance

I'll probably take my tent if I hike on a busy Camino route.
I am wondering if travel insurance companies at this time will list sickness from COVID 19 as an uncovered medical condition??
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
Either an effectve theraputic or a vaccine would be needed for us to take a bus or car to the airport, take a transatlantic flight, taxi, and a train to get to the starting location and privaterooms only. We sometimes walk off season and carry absolute essentials..bag weighs no more than 5lbs. In high season, we have sent our luggage ahead...but, I doubt we would consider doing this again. Better to keep everything with you I am thinking...
 
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Camino(s) past & future
May 2020
No vaccine with this virus, means not even getting into a plane. I was to have just returned from a Camino and lets see if the 2 airlines I had booked with, will still be able to honour their vouchers when we have a vaccine that works. Meantime hope everybody stays safe and well!
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
The govt guidelines for preparing albergues for visitors have been published here on this forum. Once the local residents feel confident and the govt says it's OK, the residents of Spain and neighboring countries will also return. The floodgates will open.

I suspect there have always been infectious diseases traveling along the pilgrim routes. But once we feel comfortable that we can adapt and overcome these "usual" diseases, including Covid19, we will bravely get back to being pilgrims for our own, personal compulsions.

I'm planning for the fall of 2021, Holy Year be . . . darned. 👃
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
For people waiting for a vaccine, note that we have had the AIDS virus for four decades now without an effective vaccine. We have therapeutic medicines, however, that reduce the severity and increase the survival rate. Perhaps that is where this is heading? Too soon to tell.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
For people waiting for a vaccine, note that we have had the AIDS virus for four decades now without an effective vaccine. We have therapeutic medicines, however, that reduce the severity and increase the survival rate. Perhaps that is where this is heading? Too soon to tell.
I would also add, that vaccines are not 100% effective, either. Influenza vaccines, as an example: from year to year, they can have an effectiveness range of between 40% to 78%. There are many reasons for this, including some of the same issues we see with COVID-19. It can take quite some time AFTER a vaccine has been developed and globally administered, before its effectiveness can be determined.

One decision, is whether to wait until a vaccine is developed before one decides to travel. Another decision will be about a willingness to travel based on the established level of effectiveness of a vaccine. And then there is a third concern.

That concern is the issue of contraindications and the potential side effects of a vaccine. A percentage of the population are likely to not be able to be immunized due to those issues. Again, we won't know the extent of this issue for a period of time until after immunizations are in the population.

The issue of wanting a vaccine as a prerequisite for travel may be far more complicated than it seems.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
I would also add, that vaccines are not 100% effective, either. Influenza vaccines, as an example: from year to year, they can have an effectiveness range of between 40% to 78%. There are many reasons for this, including some of the same issues we see with COVID-19. It can take quite some time AFTER a vaccine has been developed and globally administered, before its effectiveness can be determined.

One decision, is whether to wait until a vaccine is developed before one decides to travel. Another decision will be about a willingness to travel based on the established level of effectiveness of a vaccine. And then there is a third concern.

That concern is the issue of contraindications and the potential side effects of a vaccine. A percentage of the population are likely to not be able to be immunized due to those issues. Again, we won't know the extent of this issue for a period of time until after immunizations are in the population.

The issue of wanting a vaccine as a prerequisite for travel may be far more complicated than it seems.
Dave, I Agree about the issues surrounding vaccines. I am hoping they will find a medication in use now that would substantially mitigate the lethality of the virus. That seems more hopeful in the nearer future.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Any folks who think they can go to Europe without insurance need to plan $ for worst case scenarios. Some folks who have been hospitalized and put in ventilators, have been on ventilators for 6 weeks and counting. (See CTV’s W5 Covid: Life + Death)

6 weeks x how many thousands of dollars per day of hospitalization plus all the other expenses = your bill. Can you pay it? Or are you prepared to instruct your next of kin to let you die?

Not to be alarmist but, hope for the best, plan for the worst.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
Any folks who think they can go to Europe without insurance need to plan $ for worst case scenarios. Some folks who have been hospitalized and put in ventilators, have been on ventilators for 6 weeks and counting. (See CTV’s W5 Covid: Life + Death)

6 weeks x how many thousands of dollars per day of hospitalization plus all the other expenses = your bill. Can you pay it? Or are you prepared to instruct your next of kin to let you die?

Not to be alarmist but, hope for the best, plan for the worst.

I think it is likely that travelers will not be able to-get insurance for Covid 19 andthis may be a factor in deciding whether to return.
 

DwainS

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances(2020)
The govt guidelines for preparing albergues for visitors have been published here on this forum. Once the local residents feel confident and the govt says it's OK, the residents of Spain and neighboring countries will also return. The floodgates will open.

I suspect there have always been infectious diseases traveling along the pilgrim routes. But once we feel comfortable that we can adapt and overcome these "usual" diseases, including Covid19, we will bravely get back to being pilgrims for our own, personal compulsions.

I'm planning for the fall of 2021, Holy Year be . . . darned. 👃
Thats what i'am "Praying" for, had originally planned for fall 2020.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
I am glad there is so much enthusiasm for returning to the Camino as soon as possible. I just received a shocking notice that a husband and wife, former colleagues, in their seventies died last week from COVID 19. She ran more than 25 marathons including the Boston. They were a very active, fit and responsible people. I do not see this Lethal virus going away anytime soon. Be careful out there!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I am wondering if travel insurance companies at this time will list sickness from COVID 19 as an uncovered medical condition??
I'm wondering if countries, especially those that have been hit hard by Covid will require that foreign travelers have insurance that will cover Covid-19.
But once we feel comfortable that we can adapt and overcome these "usual" diseases, including Covid19, we will bravely get back to being pilgrims for our own, personal compulsions.
Again, being able to pay for needed medical expenses is important to be welcome in a foreign country.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
I am glad there is so much enthusiasm for returning to the Camino as soon as possible. I just received a shocking notice that a husband and wife, former colleagues, in their seventies died last week from COVID 19. She ran more than 25 marathons including the Boston. They were a very active, fit and responsible people. I do not see this Lethal virus going away anytime soon. Be careful out there!
Marbe2, I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss! There is no rhyme or reason for this virus, at least none that we can currently detect. It sounds like they lived very healthy, happy lives. RIP.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
I have mixed feelings about the issue of having adequate medical insurance before visiting a foreign country.

Of course, I'm not saying it is OK to visit a foreign country, having no health insurance and no way to pay for your drain on local resources.

But I'm wondering and a bit worried about how to determine what a reasonable risk is (my perception is that most people who walk the Camino need little or no hospitalization). Besides the benefit to the insurance company, similar to flight insurance, I feel uncomfortable about needing to have an unlimited amount of medical insurance for an indeterminable time.

If you truly try to plan for the worst case scenario, as suggested a few posts above, I'm not sure anyone would be able to afford to walk.

I, for one, would probably be priced out of the market - heck, I stay in albergues because I can't afford hotels.

Oh, boy, I can already see the bricks flying my way.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
Spain has just announced that any international visitors will have to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel or house. They will be allowed to go to a medical center, pharmacy, or supermarket, and must wear a mask. The Director of the Emergency Response agency expects that this restriction will last for the entire period of the transition phases. The end of the article notes that there are rumblings about special pacts among certain European countries, specifically Italy, Germany, France and Spain, which would lift those restrictions for travel within the countries in the pact, something that is much desired by the tourism sector.
@peregrina2000, does this mean that, if you get to SJPdP, hunker down for 14 days without incident or disease, you can walk the Camino unimpeded (taking precautions to not catch it along the way, of course)? Just wondering how this works.
We have the same 14 day quarantine here and, let me tell you, it is HARD to get visitors to observe the beaches and oceans from their little hotel window only, for 2 weeks, then head home. Most "Crisis Vacationers" thought, if they had to wait out the virus somewhere, why not in Paradise? They wanted to recreate the Decameron, perhaps. Unfortunately for them, we don't see it that way.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Whatever we are posting here, the only thing that is certain is that we don't know what will happen next, or whether our attempts to respond appropriately will be enough. We camino junkees may be able to wait for our next camino for a year, but those of us in our 70's will be seeing our chances for long walks flying away rapidly ahead of us. All that I can say is that I shall have to live with uncertainty and make the best decisions that I can when, in my opinion, the time has come.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
@peregrina2000, does this mean that, if you get to SJPdP, hunker down for 14 days without incident or disease, you can walk the Camino unimpeded (taking precautions to not catch it along the way, of course)? Just wondering how this works.
We have the same 14 day quarantine here and, let me tell you, it is HARD to get visitors to observe the beaches and oceans from their little hotel window only, for 2 weeks, then head home. Most "Crisis Vacationers" thought, if they had to wait out the virus somewhere, why not in Paradise? They wanted to recreate the Decameron, perhaps. Unfortunately for them, we don't see it that way.
Just to be pedantic ... SJPDP is in France. Presumably you could have done a 14 day quarantine on arrival in Paris ... and technically be required to do another 14 day quarantine in Roncesvalles on arrival in Spain (which does not have the infrastructure to support quarantine). Will it get to that extreme - unlikely, imho. By the time we non-Europeans are allowed in, one quarantine on first arrival would be the most likely remnant.

I traveled in Europe a few years ago, one time, without insurance. I debated the issue and decided it was a safe-ish gamble. Covid has no respect for my own carefulness, so a bigger risk and a potentially much bigger price-tag.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
At the moment there are a lot of questions and very few answers. The key, imo, is testing and tracing. All countries are going to have to be able to do this to manage COVID-19.

Travel will resume and very likely before there is a vaccine.

This will likely happen when countries have COVID-19 under control. That means, imo, managed to the point it can be dealt with so that hot spots can be responded too and hospitals will not become overwhelmed (enough ventilators, masks, gowns, tests and trace capability. As soon as countries reach this level of comfort, I believe international travel will open up.

Once a country opens to international travel, my best guess is it will require some level of quarantine. To what degree that quarantine is enforced will be up to the individual country. ie: currently my (EU) friend just returned to Hong Kong where he has permanent resident status. His family is under quarantine for 14 days. They are wearing monitoring bands and are checked up to 6 times a day.

1. Get virus under control - test and trace capability combined with medical capability to deal with outbreaks.
a. open country to international travelers

2. Quarantine all international travelers for some period of time - Traveler might have to pay for testing if required.

Some countries might even require foreign travelers to have certain level of medical insurance.

Countries, especially those that rely on tourism, will be opening. Travel will be very different. Quarantines are very likely. Social interaction will change. Vaccines will come but the level of protection and side effects are unknown. Antibodies will provide some unknown level of protection.

We are just all going to have to adjust.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
I have mixed feelings about the issue of having adequate medical insurance before visiting a foreign country.

Of course, I'm not saying it is OK to visit a foreign country, having no health insurance and no way to pay for your drain on local resources.

But I'm wondering and a bit worried about how to determine what a reasonable risk is (my perception is that most people who walk the Camino need little or no hospitalization). Besides the benefit to the insurance company, similar to flight insurance, I feel uncomfortable about needing to have an unlimited amount of medical insurance for an indeterminable time.

If you truly try to plan for the worst case scenario, as suggested a few posts above, I'm not sure anyone would be able to afford to walk.

I, for one, would probably be priced out of the market - heck, I stay in albergues because I can't afford hotels.

Oh, boy, I can already see the bricks flying my way.

In pre-covid times, I might understand for a younger person to risk traveling without medcal insurance. If you are an EU member this is not really an issue.
If you have work insurance that will cover you...(coming from the USA) by all means go for it. However, if you get sick while in iSpain, and do not have insurance, you will be drainng a health care system already in distress.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
In pre-covid times, I might understand for a younger person to risk traveling without medcal insurance. If you are an EU member this is not really an issue.
If you have work insurance that will cover you...(coming from the USA) by all means go for it. However, if you get sick while in iSpain, and do not have insurance, you will be drainng a health care system already in distress.
I agree that the moral and ethical thing to do is to provide for one's needs when undertaking an elective activity. Insurance is one way to do this, and for a potential major medical hospitalization, having the means to underwrite a medical bill is no different now, than it was pre-COVID-19.

I also feel the same way about those who adventure into wild places. Such folk who get stuck (for medical or obliviot reasons) in locales (mountains, oceans, swamps, caves, etc) requiring rescue, can cost a state or province or nation hundreds of thousands of dollars in personnel costs and the hiring of equipment, like helicopters.

Rescue insurance is something I always carry whenever I am backpacking or climbing. I do not want to burden others in spending their hard-earned tax dollars to come and get me if I am out and about.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I have mixed feelings about the issue of having adequate medical insurance before visiting a foreign country.

Of course, I'm not saying it is OK to visit a foreign country, having no health insurance and no way to pay for your drain on local resources.
It sounds like you really don't have mixed feelings about having adequate medical insurance when traveling in a foreign country. You recognize that travelers should have the ability to pay their own way, and not be a drain on the health system where they are traveling.
But I'm wondering and a bit worried about how to determine what a reasonable risk is (my perception is that most people who walk the Camino need little or no hospitalization).
You're right, most people who walk the Camino or do any kind of traveling don't need to be hospitalized. That's why travel insurance can be pretty inexpensive. I've never paid more than $100 for my comprehensive travel insurance for trips up to two months.
In pre-covid times, I might understand for a younger person to risk traveling without medcal insurance
Really? Young people can be injured or involved in accidents just as easily as older people. I remember a 20 something pilgrim that I met a couple of years ago who had to be hospitalized and given intravenous antibiotics because of infected blisters.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola. Unfortunately I am in the boat group that requires a vaccine so its unlikely I will be able to walk the Porto this year and most likely 2021. The advice from Peregrina2000 about the 14 day quarantine period would again mean a significant penalty once we crossed the border from Portugual into Spain. In fact given the size of the Spanish border towns this might be impractical.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Hola. Unfortunately I am in the boat group that requires a vaccine so its unlikely I will be able to walk the Porto this year and most likely 2021. The advice from Peregrina2000 about the 14 day quarantine period would again mean a significant penalty once we crossed the border from Portugual into Spain. In fact given the size of the Spanish border towns this might be impractical.
There is no quarantine policy that has been announced, as a requirement to be in Spain, once tourism has been reopened. What is currently being talked about in the news story, is a temporary quarantine policy for the next two week period:

"The quarantine requirements for travelers coming into Spain go into effect this coming Friday, May 15, and will remain in force throughout the duration of the state of alarm, which is due to end on May 24 "

This is for travelers who are allowed to enter Spain under specific and restricted travel requirements. Extensions may be added in two week increments, if outbreaks increase, or new outbreaks are seen.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
There is no quarantine policy that has been announced, as a requirement to be in Spain, once tourism has been reopened. What is currently being talked about in the news story, is a temporary quarantine policy for the next two week period:

"The quarantine requirements for travelers coming into Spain go into effect this coming Friday, May 15, and will remain in force throughout the duration of the state of alarm, which is due to end on May 24 "

This is for travelers who are allowed to enter Spain under specific and restricted travel requirements. Extensions may be added in two week increments, if outbreaks increase, or new outbreaks are seen.

Hi Dave -thanks for the clarification. However this still does not fix the vaccination issue, I am not expecting to do any planning before April/May 2021 and its quite possible that I have walked my last Camino if the vaccination does not arrive in the next 15-20 months. Cheers
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Hi Dave -thanks for the clarification. However this still does not fix the vaccination issue, I am not expecting to do any planning before April/May 2021 and its quite possible that I have walked my last Camino if the vaccination does not arrive in the next 15-20 months. Cheers
Mike, I do not know if you read this post HERE. It may or may not help with considerations of the concerns you have about vaccine availability and the issues surrounding it.
 

dgallen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
No long distance air travel for me until there is a vaccine. As timing would have it I wanted to take a break this year (after 10 straight years of Caminos), and do canoe/camping/hiking here in Canada. I had also thought about the Lycian Way in Turkey or some of the shorter less crowded hikes in South Portugal (e.g. Rota Vincentina) to mix things up a little. I was getting a little disillusioned regarding the way the Camino was changing... a topic for another day, so some time off may make the heart grow fonder.

I ponder whether the Camino will get back to its' frantic pace of recent past as a result of COVID. I struggle to imagine packed albergues, bars and cafes etc. in the new world post COVID. Perhaps the Camino can adapt by switching out the albergue model to serviced private or public camping areas every 10-15km. If that was the case I've got my lightweight tent and pack ready!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
There may not be a vaccine for years, so eventually we will all have to learn to live, knowing that this virus is out there. It most likely will die out in some areas, only to pop up in others, and there are some areas that still have not been affected much. But, it's still out there. Knowing that the risk of being seriously ill or dying from the virus is pretty low keeps me from being too worried about having the disease myself.

My concern is inadvertently infecting other people, since it seems to be very contagious, even before one has symptoms. I read again about this "superspreader" event at a choir practice in Washington state. It's bad enough to pass on a bad cold, but I can't imagine how it would feel to know that people had died from being exposed to me if I were contagious with Covid without knowing it.

I feel like there is still so much to learn about this virus, and we need better testing protocols and therapeutic treatments. For me, it's too soon to think about when will I walk again, though I dream about it every day.

 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I read again about this "superspreader" event at a choir practice in Washington state. It's bad enough to pass on a bad cold, but I can't imagine how it would feel to know that people had died from being exposed to me if I were contagious with Covid without knowing it.
There are surprising dynamics of how airflow and activity affect risk. It turns out singing in a closed space is a very high risk activity. Who knew?
This was eye-opening:
I just received a shocking notice that a husband and wife, former colleagues, in their seventies died last week from COVID 19. She ran more than 25 marathons including the Boston. They were a very active, fit and responsible people. I do not see this Lethal virus going away anytime soon. Be careful out there!
We all seem to assume we will outlast this without being affected, to walk another camino when it's behind us. But who knows? Yes...we need to take this seriously and not rush out there as soon as we can. There are thousands of very sad stories like this.
If you truly try to plan for the worst case scenario, as suggested a few posts above, I'm not sure anyone would be able to afford to walk.
The silver lining is that it may thin the herd of the partying cheap holiday crowd. Unfortunately that means it also thins out the herd of pilgrims - who are not well-off because we don't live to earn, but earn to simply live.
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
We will outlast this virus.

A vaccine is not coming for awhile. How effective and side effects unknown.

Travel restrictions are going to be reduced, there will probably be quarantines.

Behavior will be modified, at least for some time.

We will adapt, hopefully learn and be better prepared for next pandemic.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
As long as I'm still covered for a broken leg.
l know of a travel insurance plan that offers coverage for COVID-19 including medical cover, trip cancellation reimbursements for COVID-19, closed borders and travel warnings. Travel cancellation insurance gives you the freedom to plan you trip and pay for airfare without the worry of possible cancellations or delays due to another outbreak. I hope people stay cautious but not paralyzed :)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I hope this won't become a polemic thread. It is a serious dilemma I have. What to do after the authorities make travelling possible again? My case is different from most of you, because I live in Spain. Most likely from May 11 on, I will be allowed again to travel within Asturias (after a lockdown of almost 2 months). The Covid19 numbers are low in this province, especially in the countryside (where I live). Theoretically I could plan a couple of days on the Norte or the Primitivo. And maybe from the end of June in other parts of Spain as well.

A pro would be that camino businesses desperately need income. A con would be that it is unnecessary travel. But what if I would stay away from the cities and the crowds? Book private accomodations? Do others here have similar dilemmas and would you for example consider a camino in your own country as an alternative? Or would you travel to Spain to walk again the moment the travel restrictions have lifted? Maybe taking all kind of measures you could think of (social distancing, washing hands, wearing masks...).

Or is a camino just not a camino if you can't share bread, albergues and stories with other pilgrims?
You said it, you live in Spain therefore you have a different outlook and hopes and....regulations.
How can you possibly expect us - mostly from far away lands - to give you insight?? Most of us can’t even travel to Spain, let alone within our own countries....
Do what is allowed locally and...enjoy!
 
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Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
You said it, you live in Spain therefore you have a different outlook and hopes and....regulations.
How can you possibly expect us - mostly from far away lands - to give you insight?? Most of us can’t even travel to Spain, let alone within our own countries....
Do what is allowed locally and...enjoy!
The dilemma is much more universal. Doing what is allowed might well lead to a second wave. So that was actually my question: would you come back to the Camino the moment it is possible to travel to Spain and the albergues are open again, or would you avoid the chance of being part (and maybe a transmitter) of a second wave?

What is allowed doesn't always make sense. For example, the province I live in published a document with rules in phase 1 (where we are in now). It is allowed to meet with up to 10 people on an área recreativa, but it is not allowed to hike all by yourself in that same area. I would definitely avoid the first one and I see no harm in doing the second one.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
would you come back to the Camino the moment it is possible to travel to Spain and the albergues are open again, or would you avoid the chance of being part (and maybe a transmitter) of a second wave?
No. I'm not interested in being a guinea pig, and I especially don't want to risk being a carrier.
It is allowed to meet with up to 10 people on an área recreativa, but it is not allowed to hike all by yourself in that same area. I would definitely avoid the first one and I see no harm in doing the second one.
I totally agree!
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
The silver lining is that it may thin the partying cheap holiday crowd. Unfortunately that means it also thins out the herd of pilgrims - who are not well-off because we don't live to earn, but earn to simply live.
Umm. I don't know about that. I do know that there are people who have started as tourists and finished as pilgrims. Speaking as someone who enjoys a party from time to time, and is not a member of the Camino police.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Umm. I don't know about that. I do know that there are people who have started as tourists and finished as pilgrims. Speaking as someone who enjoys a party from time to time, and is not a member of the Camino police.

I don't want to speak before my turn but I interpreted @VNwalking's reference to the partygoers and their stagnights in Benidorm/ Amsterdam or Ibiza. Not the average pilgrim or Camino addict.
 

Philippe T.

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy en Velay - Conques 2018
Conques - Condom 2019
Via Jacobi Rorschach - Lausanne expected 2020
I hope this won't become a polemic thread. It is a serious dilemma I have. What to do after the authorities make travelling possible again? My case is different from most of you, because I live in Spain. Most likely from May 11 on, I will be allowed again to travel within Asturias (after a lockdown of almost 2 months). The Covid19 numbers are low in this province, especially in the countryside (where I live). Theoretically I could plan a couple of days on the Norte or the Primitivo. And maybe from the end of June in other parts of Spain as well.

A pro would be that camino businesses desperately need income. A con would be that it is unnecessary travel. But what if I would stay away from the cities and the crowds? Book private accomodations? Do others here have similar dilemmas and would you for example consider a camino in your own country as an alternative? Or would you travel to Spain to walk again the moment the travel restrictions have lifted? Maybe taking all kind of measures you could think of (social distancing, washing hands, wearing masks...).

Or is a camino just not a camino if you can't share bread, albergues and stories with other pilgrims?
Hi, I am a French guy living in Switzerland - I started the camino from Le Puy en Velay two years ago - 10/11 days every year. I was planning since last year to do the leg from Condom in France to Ronceveaux or a little bit further from May 20, 2020 to June 1st. Du to the travel restrictions I cancelled my trip and redirect to to the Via Jacobi in Switzerland, starting on Constance Lake - at Rorschach on the coming May 20/21 and walk to Lausanne until June 1st or 2nd, 2020. I booked the first night in Rorschach, and plan to see what going to happen after that -the camino will guide me and bring me what I need when I 'll need it - dormitory, hotel, B&B, I trust the Providence to guide me and help me to find a place to sleep every night -I did the same the last two years in France and never got any issuse -always found a place to sleep - even in an old mobile home in a field. Regarding the COVID, I will bring with me some masks, gloves and gel and do not really worry about the virus - so far I am fine et negative to COVID and I am still thinking I have more chance to be hit by a bus when crossing the road to reach the train station than by the COVID by sleeping in a dormitory.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
The silver lining is that it may thin the herd of the partying cheap holiday crowd. Unfortunately that means it also thins out the herd of pilgrims - who are not well-off because we don't live to earn, but earn to simply live.
Umm. I don't know about that. I do know that there are people who have started as tourists and finished as pilgrims. Speaking as someone who enjoys a party from time to time, and is not a member of the Camino police.
The same cause (the increase in travel restrictions and prices) can thin the party crowd, as well as thin the pilgrim herd. That does not mean that the pilgrim herd is necessarily the same as the party crowd. However, I agree that there can be overlap and evolution. :)
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Doing what is allowed might well lead to a second wave. So that was actually my question: would you come back to the Camino the moment it is possible to travel to Spain and the albergues are open again, or would you avoid the chance of being part (and maybe a transmitter) of a second wave?
:) That does take on an intriguing, personal evaluative process to think on.

For me, I do not agree that going on Camino, when the authorities allow, equates to being either a transmitter, or a second wave generator. If that logic were followed to the extreme, then there is never a time that one should travel anywhere. I will assume that the authorities have looked at the issue of 2nd Wave concerns, and have acted accordingly in their decisions.

I think about the fact that even IF a vaccine is available, based on what is known about overall vaccine efficacies, it is likely to not be a guarantee of never being able to be infected with COVID-19. So the issue you raised will remain, even with vaccination protocols.

More than that, I wonder if the question, which you honestly and genuinely posed, is in danger of slipping into a moralistic quagmire of Virtue Signalling by some? You are bad if you go on Camino soon after the Camino is opened back up. You are good if you wait X number of months or weeks or years before doing so.

So when is it morally, ethically, and medically 'OK' to go on Camino when the officials give the green light? My view is that I am just fine with heading out as soon as Camino travel is reopened by the authorities. . . . they are making the call that it is ok, not me. :)

For issues of comorbidities or risk aversion issues, how or when or IF one goes back to a Camino pilgrimage is best considered on an individual basis, apart from general policy considerations.
 
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Wild Irish

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mixed Camino/ Francés with variants (June/July 2021)
It depends. There will certainly be people scared to go out. But after being locked up in their homes for almost 2 months a lot of people are really looking forward to get back into the streets and socialise again. On the 2nd of May the Spanish were allowed to go out for walks and runs again within certain timeslots for the first time. The streets in the cities were full of people.

During the lockdown I went out for groceries once a week and I noticed that in the last couple of weeks I already saw a lot more people in the streets, chatting with each other and certainly not at a 2 metres distance. Could also be because there are hardly any Covid19 cases in the municipality where I live.

There is at least one thing that I don't have in common with most Spaniards. They love to come together in groups. They will probably go for the terraces and the family gatherings while I'll go for quiet walks in nature. And I will be avoiding the weekends.
Hi Luka, I hope you're enjoying getting out a little more since entering phase 1..I live in Córdoba province and we also entered phase 1 this week, as surreal as entering lockdown was, it's equally as surreal seeing people on the streets again! The last 2 months have been tough so it's amazing to be able to go outside for exercise again!

I had planned on starting from St Jean and doing a mixed Camino from mid June, my first. However it's not going to happen now, I work as a teacher and my hours have been greatly reduced since the start of lockdown, I can't afford to stay here now so I'll be returning to Ireland instead of doing the Camino when my contract ends in a few weeks. I had planned this for years and can't believe how close I got only for it to disappear again! It's bittersweet as it'll be nice to get back to family and not be so isolated, but I'm very sad to be leaving. Hopefully I'll be able to come back next year, until then....I plan to do some Irish caminos. I hope you get to head out there soon..Poco a poco 😊🤸🤸
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
More than that, I wonder if the question, which you honestly and genuinely posed, is in danger of slipping into a moralistic quagmire of Virtue Signalling by some? You are bad if you go on Camino soon after the Camino is opened back up. You are good if you wait X number of months or weeks or years before doing so.
For me it is a dilemma. I don't have a fixed answer or any moral judgement. But for me it certainly has to do a lot more with common sense than with what the authorities allow.

Today I did something illegal. I made a little walk of 2 hours on the stunning Asturian coast. All by myself. I even walked a couple of kilometers on the Camino del Norte. In total I met 4 other walkers, 3 persons on mountainbikes and 3 locals. Totally save, but not allowed.

Instead I could have gone shopping and then end up on a terrace. All allowed.
 

Introvert Fab

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2020
I agree that the moral and ethical thing to do is to provide for one's needs when undertaking an elective activity. Insurance is one way to do this, and for a potential major medical hospitalization, having the means to underwrite a medical bill is no different now, than it was pre-COVID-19.

I also feel the same way about those who adventure into wild places. Such folk who get stuck (for medical or obliviot reasons) in locales (mountains, oceans, swamps, caves, etc) requiring rescue, can cost a state or province or nation hundreds of thousands of dollars in personnel costs and the hiring of equipment, like helicopters.

Rescue insurance is something I always carry whenever I am backpacking or climbing. I do not want to burden others in spending their hard-earned tax dollars to come and get me if I am out and about.
Do you mind sharing what company do you use for rescue insurance?
 

Introvert Fab

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2020
l know of a travel insurance plan that offers coverage for COVID-19 including medical cover, trip cancellation reimbursements for COVID-19, closed borders and travel warnings. Travel cancellation insurance gives you the freedom to plan you trip and pay for airfare without the worry of possible cancellations or delays due to another outbreak. I hope people stay cautious but not paralyzed :)
What company is that? I am looking for travel insurance.
 

concha

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2019)
With a heavy heart, but also with a big dose of realism, I cancelled all of our albergues, hotel (including 3 nights in the Parador in SdC ) and UK airport parking bookings today. We will probably end up losing the costs of the flights, but its not the end of the world if that happens. We were due to walk the Portugues Central route in mid September. The UK government is shortly imposing a 14 days quarantine requirement for everyone (including UK citizens) entering the UK through all ports of entry. It will be enforced by spot checks and there will be fines for non-compliance. This will make it practically impossible for anyone in the UK (who works) to go abroad unless they work exclusively from home (which may no longer be the case by September). This will undoubtedly decimate the aviation and travel industries, but may be the only way to ensure infection control within our own borders. UK travel insurance policies also now specifically exclude cover for Covid. We have decided to do our own mini walking holiday for a few days along the coastline of our own county, support local businesses and know that we shall hopefully return to walk Camino again next September.
 

concha

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2019)
If the airline cancels the flights they have to refund you.

Knowing Ryanair, highly unlikely. They expect to be flying 95% of their routes in July apparently. Its a non-refundable ticket. At best, there might be an offer of a voucher to rebook the flight with them. If we cancel tickets for a flight that isn't cancelled, we will lose the cost of the ticket. We accept losing the entire cost if that is the case. Its not disastrous for us, looking at the bigger picture
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Do you mind sharing what company do you use for rescue insurance?
Why? The company is a domestic provider that is for search and rescue for mountaineers and backpackers. I buy a policy for wilderness backpacking in the US. For travel health insurance, my existing health insurance policy covers expenses regardless of location.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
For me it is a dilemma. I don't have a fixed answer or any moral judgement. But for me it certainly has to do a lot more with common sense than with what the authorities allow.

Today I did something illegal. I made a little walk of 2 hours on the stunning Asturian coast. All by myself. I even walked a couple of kilometers on the Camino del Norte. In total I met 4 other walkers, 3 persons on mountainbikes and 3 locals. Totally save, but not allowed.

Instead I could have gone shopping and then end up on a terrace. All allowed.
I understand your point :)

Officials who are the most knowledgeable about the overall issues involved, and who engage experts to help them arrive at such decisions as reopening the nation for tourism, are the ones telling tourists that it is OK to travel again. What am I missing If I accept their decision to reopen as the point in time where going, as a tourist, into Spain or Portugal or France, etc is safe for everyone?
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
The problem is of course that they have to weight health risks against economic issues. That is probably why most shops, some hotels and the terraces have reopened and they don't bother to allow you to walk in nature. With tourism it will be similar. Spain is heavily dependent on tourists, so at some point economic reasons will become more important than the risk of the virus to spread again. And that is why I think it mostly boils down to your own common sense.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
The problem is of course that they have to weight health risks against economic issues. That is probably why most shops, some hotels and the terraces have reopened and they don't bother to allow you to walk in nature. With tourism it will be similar. Spain is heavily dependent on tourists, so at some point economic reasons will become more important than the risk of the virus to spread again. And that is why I think it mostly boils down to your own common sense.
I get what you are saying. You are basically concerned that public health officials may have motivations, other than science, driving their advice about reopening. I guess I do not really see that as a major concern. As someone with a background in public health and infectious disease tracking and reporting, perhaps it affects my perceptions of this issue..
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
For me, I do not agree that going on Camino, when the authorities allow, equates to being either a transmitter, or a second wave generator. If that logic were followed to the extreme, then there is never a time that one should travel anywhere. I will assume that the authorities have looked at the issue of 2nd Wave concerns, and have acted accordingly in their decisions.
I sometimes wonder about this. There is a dilemma between keeping people safe, and our economies failing beyond recovery, versus relaxing movement, to get businesses going again and people employed.

I rather suspect that the economic argument wins, whereby movement restrictions are relaxed and the authorities 'wait and watch' to see if infection rates climb. Which one would have to think, they will. I suppose it is a question of keeping them at 'manageable' levels.

Rather like letting a few of the 'lab rats' loose to see how many get sick.......

There are probably no other options really.

Though I am thankful that I have a choice to be a lab rat or not....... (as I can work from home)
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
It isn’t public health officials making the decisions. They give information and offer advice. Politicians are making the decisions, and their motivation is different. (Except for one of the Nordic countries where the public health department actually takes charge and makes the decisions.)

Makes me wonder, if the economics can’t withstand the pandemic, perhaps the economic system needs to be revised.

I’m going to plant more vegetables in my garden...
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
they have to weight health risks against economic issues. That is probably why most shops, some hotels and the terraces have reopened and they don't bother to allow you to walk in nature.
I suspect that the authorities are so overwhelmed with making decisions about the millions of activities that we normally do without much thought or regulation, that many details have not been worked out. We need to respect the rules that are set for the common good, recognizing that there will be many inconsistencies and illogical situations. These will gradually be resolved, and I agree that common sense will need to be exercised during the process. But our walking routes are not a priority for any government.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
It isn’t public health officials making the decisions. They give information and offer advice. Politicians are making the decisions, and their motivation is different. (Except for one of the Nordic countries where the public health department actually takes charge and makes the decisions.)

Makes me wonder, if the economics can’t withstand the pandemic, perhaps the economic system needs to be revised.

I’m going to plant more vegetables in my garden...
Vegetables be a good thing. I've been out pruning fruit trees and transplanting tomato plants :)

Ok, let's say, in the worst case, that the politicians are opening up travel and tourism based heavily on economics, and not strictly on public health. Given that a majority of tourists or pilgrims are not scientists or public health experts or medical experts, then what and who (person, agency) is the informational framework that folks should listen to when deciding on when to go back to Camino?

Certainly the agency of 'common sense' can't be the objective base. At least not in the manner that it has been used on the Forum in various posts and threads.

Common Sense requires a 'common' value or purpose that is shared within a group. The poll provides a prime example that we lack any 'common' consensus in a decision making algorithm for the issue at hand. I certainly do not see a shared, 'common' conclusion of when it would be safe to go on Camino. And based on some of the individual conclusions others have reached, my decisions would not be in common with thiers.

So I will set aside 'common sense' as a usable and useful term that applies to this group about returning to the Camino. What I am reading are personal opinions, which are based on individual concerns. I hope that what I am saying is not misunderstood; arriving at an individual decision, based on one's individual perceptions and concerns is fine and legitimate as a personal choice.

This is an important distinction, because if someone decides to go on Camino immediately after tourism is opened, there can be no legitimate hue or cry that the person is lacking in 'common sense'

Huge numbers will return to Spain and France and etc when tourism is lifted. Camino pilgrims would only be a teeny slice of that tourism pie. Officials do seem cognizant of the implications of second waves, etc, as it pertains to the medical issues. They also would be concerned that a much deeper and more prolonged economic damage would occur if a tourism ban and border closure would need to be put back into place.

Politicians are very likely looking at the facts behind the creation of a Second Wave of medical disease. And that such would simultaneously cause a new Wave of economic disaster if tourism is permitted, and then shut down again.

In my mind, the economic incentives for politicians and governments to 'get it right' means that they will follow the advice of scientists with regard to the medical public health concerns. So when the borders are open, I'm OK with going.

Perhaps my background gives me more certainty about my plans and decisions with regard to COVID-19. As it stands, my plans do not drive the decisions I make; only the science.

NOTE: If I had a diagnosed immunodeficiency, or other significant comorbidity risk for either COVID-19 or influenza, I would not be going to Europe this year. The link below lists the issues of comorbidity and COVID-19.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Frances from Saria
2018 Finnisterre & Ingles
2019 Portuguese from Valenca
2020 Assisi(cancel.)
Or when there is an effective treatment, hopefully portable like Zpack.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Makes me wonder, if the economics can’t withstand the pandemic, perhaps the economic system needs to be revised.
I think you are right here, but I also predict that most people will be so relieved when this is over that they will be more interested in returning to what was normal than in putting in the effort to work out what would be a better, more robust, resiliant etc new normal.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
:) That does take on an intriguing, personal evaluative process to think on.

For me, I do not agree that going on Camino, when the authorities allow, equates to being either a transmitter, or a second wave generator. If that logic were followed to the extreme, then there is never a time that one should travel anywhere. I will assume that the authorities have looked at the issue of 2nd Wave concerns, and have acted accordingly in their decisions.

I think about the fact that even IF a vaccine is available, based on what is known about overall vaccine efficacies, it is likely to not be a guarantee of never being able to be infected with COVID-19. So the issue you raised will remain, even with vaccination protocols.

More than that, I wonder if the question, which you honestly and genuinely posed, is in danger of slipping into a moralistic quagmire of Virtue Signalling by some? You are bad if you go on Camino soon after the Camino is opened back up. You are good if you wait X number of months or weeks or years before doing so.

So when is it morally, ethically, and medically 'OK' to go on Camino when the officials give the green light? My view is that I am just fine with heading out as soon as Camino travel is reopened by the authorities. . . . they are making the call that it is ok, not me. :)

For issues of comorbidities or risk aversion issues, how or when or IF one goes back to a Camino pilgrimage is best considered on an individual basis, apart from general policy considerations.
I have not been checking much on this thread, because I had been so conflicted. Maybe my changing opinion has more to do with my increased camino longing than anything else, but gradually I have been coming to accept the reality that we will probably always be living with this virus in one shape or another, and it will be a delicate dance of cost-benefit for each one of us. I have heard several interviews lately with people in the US who have been living with immuno-compromised systems for years and years. Many of them have found ways to minimize risks and deal with them, while still partaking of life in a community.

My initial reaction was that I would not go to the Camino until I am vaccinated. But what if there is no vaccine, what if the vaccine has a lot of side effects, what if the vaccine is very imperfect? Those are all very real possibilities, based on what I read. Maybe it is more realistic to think that I am just going to have to learn how to live my life with the understanding that covid is there and I will always have to take reasonble precautions to avoid infection. I am hopeful that the way to do that will become more apparent over the next year, as people much smarter than I learn more and more about this virus. But I think that there is just not going to be any iron-clad protection that will make it safe to ”return to normal.”

And more than anything, I am hoping for a mask that doesn’t make me feel like my mouth is in a sauna. :)
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
And more than anything, I am hoping for a mask that doesn’t make me feel like my mouth is in a sauna. :)
That is a very delicate point... They will become mandatory here in Spain. I tried a selfmade one once and found it rather muggy. And that even before the temperature went up. The idea of physical exercise with a mask on your mouth and nose doesn't sound appealing...
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Vegetables be a good thing. I've been out pruning fruit trees and transplanting tomato plants :)

Ok, let's say, in the worst case, that the politicians are opening up travel and tourism based heavily on economics, and not strictly on public health. Given that a majority of tourists or pilgrims are not scientists or public health experts or medical experts, then what and who (person, agency) is the informational framework that folks should listen to when deciding on when to go back to Camino?

Certainly the agency of 'common sense' can't be the objective base. At least not in the manner that it has been used on the Forum in various posts and threads.

Common Sense requires a 'common' value or purpose that is shared within a group. The poll provides a prime example that we lack any 'common' consensus in a decision making algorithm for the issue at hand. I certainly do not see a shared, 'common' conclusion of when it would be safe to go on Camino. And based on some of the individual conclusions others have reached, my decisions would not be in common with thiers.

So I will set aside 'common sense' as a usable and useful term that applies to this group about returning to the Camino. What I am reading are personal opinions, which are based on individual concerns. I hope that what I am saying is not misunderstood; arriving at an individual decision, based on one's individual perceptions and concerns is fine and legitimate as a personal choice.

This is an important distinction, because if someone decides to go on Camino immediately after tourism is opened, there can be no legitimate hue or cry that the person is lacking in 'common sense'

Huge numbers will return to Spain and France and etc when tourism is lifted. Camino pilgrims would only be a teeny slice of that tourism pie. Officials do seem cognizant of the implications of second waves, etc, as it pertains to the medical issues. They also would be concerned that a much deeper and more prolonged economic damage would occur if a tourism ban and border closure would need to be put back into place.

Politicians are very likely looking at the facts behind the creation of a Second Wave of medical disease. And that such would simultaneously cause a new Wave of economic disaster if tourism is permitted, and then shut down again.

In my mind, the economic incentives for politicians and governments to 'get it right' means that they will follow the advice of scientists with regard to the medical public health concerns. So when the borders are open, I'm OK with going.

Perhaps my background gives me more certainty about my plans and decisions with regard to COVID-19. As it stands, my plans do not drive the decisions I make; only the science.

NOTE: If I had a diagnosed immunodeficiency, or other significant comorbidity risk for either COVID-19 or influenza, I would not be going to Europe this year. The link below lists the issues of comorbidity and COVID-19.
Of course I have to rely on the scientists as well. Based on that, there are some things I call common sense. Like keeping your distance from other people. Like avoiding (especially indoor) crowded spaces. So pilgrimwise that would mean walking alone, avoiding dorms, avoiding communal dinners and avoiding sharing food for example.

But the most delicate thing will be the risk assessment we will all have to do: what risk are you willing to take in order to do something that is very important to you? And that will be a very personal thing. I, for example, can imagine myself getting back on a plane to see my parents again. Others will take the risk of communal meals and sleeping in dorms, because otherwise it is not a camino to them.

Common sense means also looking at the number of infections. Since last week I have been seeing a couple of friends again after spending 7 weeks alone. We don't hug or kiss, but of course it is almost impossible to keep each other at a 2m distance all the time. But these friends live in the countryside and work from home, just like I do. There are very few infections in this area. So the joy of seeing them again outweighs the risk of getting infected.

I agree with @peregrina2000 that we will have to deal with this virus somehow. Because it will stay and a vaccine is insecure and still far away. How we deal with that will be different for each of us and most likely also a learning experience.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
My responses were not based on the social distancing and public health guidelines that you are referring to now as 'common sense', and which are good tools for individuals to use. I agree with you on that issue entirely.

I was exploring the way 'common sense' had been used when talking about how soon should someone go on a Camino after the borders are opened:

For me it is a dilemma. I don't have a fixed answer or any moral judgement. But for me it certainly has to do a lot more with common sense than with what the authorities allow.
Interestingly, much of what you mention as potentially required adaptations while on the Camino, are what many of us, who are introverted, prefer anyway. . needing to use more private lodgings because of reductions in dormitory-style bed availability in alburgues, reconfigurations away from community or family style seating, walking with precautions that include walking by yourself or with only family members, etc.

Isn't it interesting how for some, such changes in interactive behavior on the Camino will be a disappointment and a negative; but for others, it will have little real-life effect due to personal preferences which tend to avoid, or minimize such social congregations.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
Apparently it is very difficult and hugely expensive to find such a policy. I am aware that there are some expats who were living in Thailand and left the country for a temporary period before all of this began and, sadly, can't return to their homes in Thailand as they do not possess the required insurance policy.
Just a caveat: travel insurance policies always exclude pandemics from coverage.
Is that health or just cancellation of trip coverage?
At the end of March I thoroughly looked into getting travel insurance as a US resident . Both World Nomads and the GeoBlue had policies that would cover you for sickness or hospitalization for any reason, even COVID-19. Stuff like that is not specified. And I got it in writing that any health issues that were not pre-existing are covered. these were normal off-the-shelf policies, with normal pricing. What the policies would not cover is any kind of reimbursement, cancellation, or evacuation or trip interruption related to the pandemic. No one is selling policies like that as far as I know.

But there would be no coverage period if you refused to leave a country that your government told you was unsafe. Although if you are unable to leave, you would still be covered.

I think it would be really difficult to have a policy that said: oh, you have a really bad case of influenza and need to be hospitalized? Fine. Oh! You’ve tested positive for COVID-19! Sorry we can’t pay your hospitalization. It wouldn’t really work, would it?

But the difference is they would evacuate you if necessary for influenza, but not COVID-19. Very confusing. Probably best to hold off for a while. Although I think it would be a long time before the policies will cover everything again.
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
I have not been checking much on this thread, because I had been so conflicted. Maybe my changing opinion has more to do with my increased camino longing than anything else, but gradually I have been coming to accept the reality that we will probably always be living with this virus in one shape or another, and it will be a delicate dance of cost-benefit for each one of us. I have heard several interviews lately with people in the US who have been living with immuno-compromised systems for years and years. Many of them have found ways to minimize risks and deal with them, while still partaking of life in a community.

My initial reaction was that I would not go to the Camino until I am vaccinated. But what if there is no vaccine, what if the vaccine has a lot of side effects, what if the vaccine is very imperfect? Those are all very real possibilities, based on what I read. Maybe it is more realistic to think that I am just going to have to learn how to live my life with the understanding that covid is there and I will always have to take reasonble precautions to avoid infection. I am hopeful that the way to do that will become more apparent over the next year, as people much smarter than I learn more and more about this virus. But I think that there is just not going to be any iron-clad protection that will make it safe to ”return to normal.”

And more than anything, I am hoping for a mask that doesn’t make me feel like my mouth is in a sauna. :)
I agree with Peregrina2000 here. The decision "When to walk or not" will be a personal one. We will all create our own algorithm to make this decision. I will be considering the health of others I come in contact with as well as my own. That said, more than likely I will likely be walking before there is a vaccine, for many of the reasons mentioned above.

I am not sure what normal will look like going forward. I am sure that I/We will adapt.

A mask that does not make you feel like your mouth is in a sauna will probably come before a vaccine.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
13/9/13 to 1/10/13 Pamplona to Leon

5/6/2014-9/7/2014
SJPP to Santiago

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
@TammyLynn, "legit news source", who knows? Minister of Transport has vector on Border Control and Health, why not. According to "legit news sources" in the UK the pubs will be open in July. According to my favourite local pub they figure they'll open three-months after vaccination starts if everything looks ok.
 

SFletcher

Una flecha sigue una flecha
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Pamplona (2018); Pamplona - Burgos (2019)
It talks about "Tourism " in a general way, but makes no specific reference to the Camino. Anyway, Spain eliminating a 14 day quarantine for people arriving from abroad, won't help me, as at the end of June I still won't be able to get a flight, and would have to quarantine when I return home.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I definitely would not be buying a plane ticket from the US or gassing up my car in Biarritz to cross the border based on this "news." The French Basque are already mad enough because they can't drive across the border to buy discount cigarettes.
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
This is what was forecast in the optimistic version a month ago. I really believe that, most likely, the Camino will be open by that date.

In any case, it will probably depend on how the situation is both in Spain and in your country of origin. Most likely they will still be restrictions for some countries where covid is not doing too well. I suppose the EU will issue some directive on opening the borders with non-EU countries.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
It talks about "Tourism " in a general way, but makes no specific reference to the Camino. Anyway, Spain eliminating a 14 day quarantine for people arriving from abroad, won't help me, as at the end of June I still won't be able to get a flight, and would have to quarantine when I return home.
I think that 'tourism' includes Camino pilgrimage. There is also the issue of tourism being opened internationally for travelers outside of Europe or the EU.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
The dates are still a bit up in the air, as the Spanish Government wants to carry on lockdown til June 27th, the EU wants a general opening up on June 15th, but some in the Spanish Parliament want a return to a bit more normal on June 8th.

The only mostly sure thing AFAIK is that the State of Alarm is very likely to continue at least til June 7th included.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
@TammyLynn, "legit news source", who knows? Minister of Transport has vector on Border Control and Health, why not. According to "legit news sources" in the UK the pubs will be open in July. According to my favourite local pub they figure they'll open three-months after vaccination starts if everything looks ok.
I interrupt this thread’s conversation for a very important question. What’s happening to all the beer in bars/pubs that will otherwise go skunky if not consumed by its best before date?
🍺
 

ChrisT

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Last 100k of the French Way Nov 2017
Porto to Santiago Sept 2018
I interrupt this thread’s conversation for a very important question. What’s happening to all the beer in bars/pubs that will otherwise go skunky if not consumed by its best before date?
🍺
Its all getting poured down the drain in the UK. In the region of 70 million pints. Brewers can claim the duty back as this is a big part of the cost of a pint. Most brewers are replacing stock like for like or crediting the outlet for the cost.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
I interrupt this thread’s conversation for a very important question. What’s happening to all the beer in bars/pubs that will otherwise go skunky if not consumed by its best before date?
🍺
My local is doing take-away, from the door-step. Our local breweries are doing the same, or door-step deliveries. Meanwhile lots of good beer went down the drain and killed a few fish (who knew they didn't drink?) The saddest bit of all is that a live beer, kept under proper cellarage, would probably have kept for 12 months or so 😭
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Another thread that was started with news about restarting tourism and the camino has been merged here. This is to reduce the proliferation of new threads on the same topic.
 

jonnyboy9

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 October?
I haven't taken any holiday since early December other than public holidays - and am so keen to do a camino - but the belated UK 2-week quarantine trashes that plan totally.
 

JohnLloyd

Author of "Go Your Own Way"
Camino(s) past & future
Francés from SJPDP to SdC - Autumn 2018
Portugués from Porto to Sdc - Spring 2019
Francés again ASAP
Like almost everyone here on this forum, I'd like to be walking the Camino right now.

But there is something far more important than my personal desires.

The Camino passes through countless villages and towns, often with ageing populations, and often dependent on the euros that we spend as we pass by.

For them, the Camino brings income and development. But it could also bring infection, illness and suffering.

Before I pack my rucksack and walk again, I'd need to hear from the people of Spain that it is the right time for us to come back and walk through their communities.

Until then, I can wait.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
Like almost everyone here on this forum, I'd like to be walking the Camino right now.

But there is something far more important than my personal desires.
Before I pack my rucksack and walk again, I'd need to hear from the people of Spain that it is the right time for us to come back and walk through their communities.

Until then, I can wait.
My feelings exactly. And I would want to get some sense from those were already walking - Spaniards, other Eurpeans - what the general sense on the ground is like. Some albergue/bar/cafe/business owners may be deeply grateful to have pilgrims coming again. And the ones right next door may be feeling that a steady stream of pilgrims could be bringing a steady stream of illness with them, and depleting still-scarce resources.

Just as there are dozens of viewpoints expressed on this thread, there will be dozens of viewpoints among the local populations. We keep talking about the Camino as being "open" or "closed" but it seems to me it's much more complex than that.

Of course coming from the US, by the time our "Do Not Travel" advisory is lifted, planes start flying, airfares are reasonable, arrival quarantines are lifted, and enough businesses have reopened, this may all be a moot point for me, anyway. 😉 Meanwhile, I just keep walking at home, because I've learned that walking is just a really good thing to do -- regardless of what country I'm in. 😎
 

Introvert Fab

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2020
At the end of March I thoroughly looked into getting travel insurance as a US resident . Both World Nomads and the GeoBlue had policies that would cover you for sickness or hospitalization for any reason, even COVID-19.
Unfortunately, since March, it has changed. I am planning my Camino for September and Geo Blue now says:
"Please note the following important exclusion: Coverage for pandemic illness, including COVID-19 is not covered if a member failed to depart a country within a reasonable time from the date the country became subject to a level-3 travel warning by the CDC, or similar travel warning from that country’s government. Members remaining in a country in that circumstance would not be covered for COVID-19, but otherwise would retain all coverage under the policy within its normal terms and conditions."

The way I understand it, if Spain is still a Level 3 by the time you're there AND you contract the virus, you are not covered.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
I'm starting to think that walking the Portuguese from Lisbon in September might be plausible. Of course it would depend on the POR-ESP border opening and on available accommodation on both sides of the border, but the way things are going (at least in Portugal) at the moment, I feel pretty optimistic about it. The border is closed until at least June 15th but there has been talk of opening it even if borders with other countries remain closed. In terms of getting there and away, I can start by walking out my front door in Lisbon and can end by taking a bus/train back to Lisbon, so I'm not reliant on flights or on other borders being open.
 

mickiengland

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planned to start the Camino Del Norte in June 2020...
I see that Greece are already planning to open up their borders for tourists, but only from countries who appear to have the virus under control. Spain have been much harder hit by the virus, so will presumably be much more cautious about re-opening.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
The way I understand it, if Spain is still a Level 3 by the time you're there AND you contract the virus, you are not covered
No problem. If Spain is at a Level Three, or equivalent, you will not be allowed into Spain, anyway. Or saying it in a different way, IF you are allowed into Spain as a tourist-pilgrim-vacationer-casual traveler, then Spain is not under a Level Three.
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some, and with luck, some more.
Like almost everyone here on this forum, I'd like to be walking the Camino right now.

But there is something far more important than my personal desires.

The Camino passes through countless villages and towns, often with ageing populations, and often dependent on the euros that we spend as we pass by.

For them, the Camino brings income and development. But it could also bring infection, illness and suffering.

Before I pack my rucksack and walk again, I'd need to hear from the people of Spain that it is the right time for us to come back and walk through their communities.

Until then, I can wait.

Your post tells me we would walk heart to heart, hand in hand and in mutual consideration of others.

Buen ( everlasting consideration) Camino
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
Unfortunately, since March, it has changed. I am planning my Camino for September and Geo Blue now says:
"Please note the following important exclusion: Coverage for pandemic illness, including COVID-19 is not covered if a member failed to depart a country within a reasonable time from the date the country became subject to a level-3 travel warning by the CDC, or similar travel warning from that country’s government. Members remaining in a country in that circumstance would not be covered for COVID-19, but otherwise would retain all coverage under the policy within its normal terms and conditions."

The way I understand it, if Spain is still a Level 3 by the time you're there AND you contract the virus, you are not covered.
Well, I don’t think the policies changed. They said at the time that if that your government tells you you shouldn’t go there, you’re not covered. I think that’s standard for any travel insurance policy. You would only be covered if the situation developed while you were traveling. But your right, when I looked into it I don’t think there was the level III warning yet.
 

firstshirt

Member
Camino(s) past & future
November (2018)
Not trying to be a wet blanket here but I wonder if folks have given thought to travel to and from your next adventure, camino et al. Blame the military for this post as I have always needed to "look for trouble" as part of the planning process. Regardless it has always been to my benefit. So the question that I ask is this: Have folks, that are thinking of hiking/walking in another country, planned for what that country might do regarding travel restrictions, at any time, in a response to some sort of resurgence of the virus prior to having a vaccine for all? Flipping that around what might your country do in response to such a threat regarding your travel back to your home. 14 day quarantines might loom or worse. This is why, in the absence of a vaccine, as much as I would like to, I will not be traveling overseas.
 
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