Before the Covid crisis, pilgrims were free to come and go along the Camino de Santiago. As international travel to Spain and Portugal opens up once again allowing pilgrims to return to the Camino de Santiago, here’s what to expect on the Camino during the Covid pandemic.
As at the 15th June 2021, both Spain and Portugal have opened their borders for tourist travel by air with proof of a negative PCR COVID 19 test. A negative PCR test is not required on the land borders between Spain, France and Portugal.
Spain, Portugal and France have both adopted the usual rules for sanitation. Face masks are mandatory in public, thorough hand washing is recommended and social distancing is practiced in all public places. Cafes and restaurants provide hand sanitizing gel for customers and most pilgrims enjoy eating outside at restaurant terraces. Churches (such as the Cathedral in Santiago) are open to the public but limit the amount of people permitted entry.
Is it possible to meet and talk with other pilgrims? Yes! The Camino spirit is still running high, especially in Santiago de Compostela! While the Camino de Santiago may be quieter than usual this year, pilgrims still get together for meals and coffees.
Albergues, Guesthouses and Hotels all work hard to ensure pilgrim’s safety with hand santizing gel readily available. Albergues have adopted special rules for dorm rooms to ensure that pilgrims can socially distance from each other while sleeping.
Masks are mandatory on all forms of public transport. Most companies are operating at 50 percent capacity to ensure passengers can socially distance.
I recommend that you check with your own country as to whether you need a negative PCR COVID 19 test upon your return. If so, you can visit one of the following clinics in Santiago de Compostela.
It’s clear that the number of cases in Spain, Portugal and France continue to drop so we hope to see this trend continue over the summer months of 2021. Life does indeed go on regardless.
If you plan to walk the Camino de Santiago, check out my book, A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino de Santiago. I share everything you need to know before you begin your Camino. Read at A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino De Santiago or click the link below.