Coronavirus COVID-19 and the Camino: rolling updates

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Review on the COVID-19 and the Caminos de Santiago in Spain, France and Portugal. News and developments about the coronavirus; its effect on the Camino and the pilgrim community. The most recent news are on top of the page. Post with rolling updates.

(Last update: July 6 2020)

Coronavirus situation at a glance
Spain ~~~ France ~~~ Portugal
Timline of the coronavirus events

coronavirus COVID-19 camino de santiago - (CC) BY-NC-SA
Coronavirus and Camino de Santiago ~ (CC) BY-NC-SA

Yes, share this post… and name its source! Content like this require a huge load of work and time… Sames goes for the pilgrim-virus illustration! Also I normally have no-zero-zip-null-0 interest in politics, so info gathering and checking in this particular post was kind of a painful process ;P Thanks in advance to respect the work 🙂

Coronavirus situation at a glance

Please still regularly check out details of travel conditions that applies specifically to your country.

Please also check the update date of the suggested links! Governmental pages are often late to release updated news…

Spain

Useful references in English: Reopen Europa / Tourism in Spain / your embassy in Spain

Useful numbers in Spain: call 112 for emergencies and one of the numbers below for information, depending on which autonomous community you’re at:

Coronavirus: emergency and information phone numbers in Spain
  1. Walking stages of a Camino is possible:
    • For Spanish residents and non-Spanish residents from the UE/associated countries or coutries allowed to enter Spain (see point 4)
    • Warning, many accommodations remain closed!! Thoroughly check them out on a case-by-case basis!!
    • Warning! Zones that are in lockdown again are impossible for pilgrims to walk through (Catalonia and Galicia, see point 5)
  2. State of alarm lifted
  3. Entry from the EU/associated countries for tourism: yes, without quarantine
    • Warning! Mandatory individual health control form now required (download it here)
  4. Entry from outside of the EU/associated countries: yes and no
    • Yes: with mandatory individual health control form. For residents of countries recommended by the European Council and authorized by Spain: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay
    • No! for any country not mentioned on the list above.
  5. Deescalation procedures in progress: decisions left to the judgment of local authorities
    • The country is globally in stage 4, “return to normality”
    • Warning, some localities have already reinstated lockdowns! Comarcas of Segria (Lleida province, Catalonia: affects the Caminos Catalan) and A Mariña (Lugo province, Galicia: affects the Camino del Norte)
  6. Free mobility within Spain: yes, local exceptions possible (see point 5 above)
    • During stage 2, mobility is limited within the borders of each province
    • During stage 3, mobility is limited within the borders of each region
    • During stage 4, mobility is back to normal
  7. Health and safety measures still ongoing, including:
    • Mandatory mask in public from 6 years old; in public spaces and places opened to the public if a minimal physical distance of 1.5m/5 feet is impossible
    • Physical distance of 2m/5 feet
    • Specific protocols applied by the tourism sector: food service, accommodation, beaches and so on
    • Warning! Local measures can apply stricter measures (see point 5)

France

Useful references in English: Reopen Europa / your embassy in France

Useful phone numbers in France: call 15 for medical advice or emergencies (call 114 for people having physical difficulties to speak or hear) and call 0 800 130 000 for information (24/7, free from a landline in France)

coronavirus: medical advice, emergency and information phone numbers in France
  1. The French Caminos are accessible
    • without restriction for French people living in green zones (now all of mainland France); for tourists from the UE/Schengen area whose countries don’t enforce restriction towards France
    • Warning, on condition of respecting a 15 days quarantine for UK citizens
    • Warning, many accommodation remain closed!! Thoroughly check them out on a case-by-case basis!!
  2. Entry in France from a UE/associated countries as a tourist: yes, without need for medical certificate or proof of negative test
    • Warning, on condition of voluntary quarantine (14 days) for UK residents
  3. Entry in France from a non-UE/associated country: yes and no
    • Yes: with voluntary quarantine (14 days), sworn statement of absence of symptoms and international travel certificate (explanation and document download here, in English lower in the page). For residents of the recommended countries by the European council: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay
    • No! For any country not mentioned above
  4. Deconfinement procedures in progress
  5. Full mobility within the country
  6. Health and safety measures still ongoing, including:
    • Mandatory mask from 11 years old in transportation, closed places, restaurants, cafĂ©s
    • Physical distance of 1m/3.3 feet
    • Specific protocols applied by the tourism sector

Portugal

Useful references in English: Reopen Europa / Visit Portugal / your embassy in Portugal

Useful phone number in Portugal: call 808 24 24 24, dedicated SNS24 line, for symptom screening and coronavirus information

coronavirus: symptom screening and information in Portugal
  1. Enter Portugal to walk the Camino is possible
    • for Portuguese residents, depending on their residence location (see point 4)
    • for UE/associated countries residents and authorized non-UE residents (see point 3)
    • Warning, many accommodation remain closed!! Thoroughly check them out on a case-by-case basis!!
  2. Entry from a UE/associated country for tourism: yes, without quarantine, medical certificate or proof of a negative test
  3. Entry from a non-UE/associated country: yes and no
    • Yes: for residents of countries recommended by the European council and authorized by Portugal (subject to reciprocity agreements): Algeria, Canada, Morocco, South Corea, Tunisia, China
    • No: any other country
  4. Differenciated deconfinement procedures in progress: various alert levels throughout the country
    • See details of the measures here (in French)
    • Continental Portugal: state of emergency (moderate restrictions)
    • Lisbon Metropolitan Area: state of contingency (strict restrictions)
    • 19 districts in Lisbon: state “of calamity”(in lockdown again)
  5. Full mobility within the country except in the 19 districts mentioned above
  6. Health and safety measures still ongoing, including:
    • Mandatory mask in transportation, closed places and gatherings
    • Physical distance of 2m/6.5 feet
    • Gatherings limited to 20 people
    • Specific protocols applied by the tourism sector: food service, accommodations, beaches, and so on
    • Warning! Additional stricter measures apply depending on one’s location (see point 4 and details in the link)

Timeline of the coronavirus events

Green highlights show information that are still valid at the time of the page’s update

Tip! Use an online translator to access sources that are not in English! Copy the texts and paste in the translator. I personally use DeepL or Google Translate 🙂

July 11 2020

??? In metropolitan France, the health emergency state is said to be lifted. Official announcements to come.

July 6 2020

In Spain, the comarca of A Mariña (Lugo province, Galicia) reinstates local lockdown for at least 5 days (until July 10 included). It is impossible for pilgrims on the Camino del Norte to walk and stay within the area.

Sources: BBC / Camino de Santiago (in Spanish)

July 4 2020

In Spain, the comarca of Segria (Lleida province, Catalonia) reinstates local lockdown for 15 days maximum. It is impossible for pilgrims on the Caminos Catalan to walk and stay within the area.

Source: ABC Cataluña (in Spanish)

Spain reopens its borders to non-UE tourists, based on the recommendation list issued by the European Council. The following countries are allowed entry: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay. Algeria and Morocco are still excluded form entry, despite their presence on the list. Residents of any other country not mentioned are also still forbidden to enter Spain.

Source: Schengen Visa Info

July 1st 2020

Spain and Portugal reopen their shared border

Source: Schengen Visa Info

Spain instates a mandatory individual health control form for any non-Spanish resident entering Spain (Download document via the link below)

Source: Gobierno de Espana

Portugal instates the differentiated de-escalation measures presented on June 25 (to last until July 14). Continental Portugal is in a state of emergency, Lisbon Metropolitan Area is in a state of contingency, 19 districts of Lisbon are in a state of calamity and in lockdown again. At the same time, Portugal reopens its borders to non-EU tourists, based on the recommendation list issued by the European council. Only a handful of the countries mentioned on the list are allowed entry in Portugal, through direct flights: Algeria, Canada, Morocco, South Corea, Tunisia and China (each under condition of reciprocity agreements). Residents of countries not mentioned above are still denied entry in Portugal.

Sources: differentiated de-escalation plan (French ambassy in Portugal, in French) / entry in Portugal (Portugal diplomatic page, in Portuguese)

France reopen its borders to non-EU tourists, based on the recommendation list issued by the European council. The following countries are allowed entry in France: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay. Resident of countried not mentioned above are still denied entry in France.

Source: Explore France

Reopening of the cathedral and the pilgrim’s office in Santiago, as well as of public albergues in Galicia

*Since that date, some albergues have been forced to close again because of the recent outbreaks in Galicia

Source: El Correo Gallego (in Spanish)


June 30 2020

The European Council releases recommendations on reopening the EU external borders. Restrictions are lifted for countries: that have a global heath situation similar or better than the EU’s; a number of cases stable or decreasing over the last 15 days; a crisis management that is considered trustworthy and efficient. The following countries are thus suggested to be granted entry in the EU*: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and (subject to confirmation of reciprocity) China**. Recommendations will be reevaluated every 15 days.

Warning! Each state is free to maintain entry restriction to the countries mentioned in the list. Each state is also free to design its own entry conditions and/or complementary restrictions.

*Residents of the countries that are not mentioned are still denied entry in the UE

**China has not reopened its borders since the recommendation was issued: Chinese residents are still denied entry in the EU

Source: Council of the European Union

June 29 2020

Reopening of the pilgrim’s office in Saint Jean Pied de Port

Source: Accueil des amis du chemin de St Jacques (June 5 post, in French) and a comment from the president of the association on the French post: 100% official source! 🙂

June 25 2020

Portugal presents a differentiated de-descalation plan that will take effect from July 1st to July 14

Source: Le Petit Journal de Lisbonne (in French)

June 23 2020

In Spain, some localities in Huesca province, Aragon, are back to the 2nd stage of the deescalation plan. The Spanish government would eventually consider to reinstate a mandatory lockdown if the national sanitary status requires it.

Source: The Olive Press

In Portugal, the city of Lisbon reinstates restrictive measure to hold back coronavirus recurrence.

Source: The Telegraph

June 21 2020

France moves on to stage 3 of its deconfinement procedure.

Source: Forbes

Spain terminates the state of alarm. The whole country is in stage 4 of the deescalation procedure (return to normality). Madrid finished its deescalation slower than the rest of the country. The borders with France are opened; residents from the EU/Schengen area are welcome again, without quarantine. The border with Portugal remains closed (until July 1st). Non-UE citizens are still not be allowed in (gradual re-opening from July 1st, official list still pending).

Sources: El Pais: return to normality / opening the borders

June 15 2020

France continues deconfinement procedure in stage 2. Mainland France is completely in green zone. The country reopens its borders with UE/Schengen area countries, with a principle of reciprocity. Passage between France and its neighboring countries is free again, except for Spain (tourism forbidden until June 21). Check out other UE/Schengen area countries for specificities. Non-UE/Schengen area citizens still not allowed in.

Source: Re-open Europe

June 14 2020

Spain continues its deescalation procedure. Most of the country is in stage 3, some provinces remain in stage 2. Galicia is the only region that is in stage 4, or “new normality”. Borders remain closed (until June 21 for the France-Spain border; until July 1st for the Portugal-Spain border and for non-EU/Schengen area citizens)

Source: Spain in English

Portugal ends it deconfinement process. Borders with Spain remain closed (until July 1st): entry in Portugal by land is impossible for tourists. Airways are the only entry option from the UE/Schengen area/handful of authorized countries (the UK, Venezuela, the USA, Canada, South Africa and Brazil and CPLP). Mobility within the country is normal again

Source: Re-open Europa

June 2nd 2020

France starts the 2nd stage of its deconfinement procedure. End of many restrictions regarding mobility and the opening of public places. The country is still divided in green and orange areas (where particular measures are maintained) Borders remain closed.

Source: France 24

June 1st 2020

Spain continues its deescalation procedure. Most of the country enters the 2nd stage, or are maintained in stage 1

Source: El Pais

Portugal starts the 3rd stage of its deconfinement procedure, planned to last form June 1st to 14. More severe restrictions are still in place in the Lisbon metropolitan area.

Source: Portugal Resident


May 20 2020

In France, the association Sur les Pas de Saint Jacques, working with a group of accommodation hosts, release a guide dedicated to help accommodation along the Caminos to establish health protocols

Source: ACIR (in French)

18 mai 2020

Portugal starts the 2nd stage of its deconfinement protocol, planned from June 18-31.

Source: Portugal News

May 11 2020

France begins stage 1 of its deconfinement procedure. The country is divided in green (end of lockdown) and orange (end of lockdown with still strict restrictions) areas.

Source: Reuters

Spain continues its deescalation procedure. Half of the country remains in stage 0, the other half starts stage 1.

Source: El Pais

May 4 2020

In Spain, start of the deescalation procedure. 4 stages will allow, under conditions, to restart activities gradually and end restrictions.

Source: Time Out

Portugal begins its 3-stages procedure to ease its lockdown. Stage 1 is planned June 4-17.

Source: France 24

In Spain, the Municipal Association of the Camino de Santiago (AMCS) publishes a document explaining health protcocols and standards to apply in accommodations as the Camino reopens. It adapts the OMS health recommendations. Work in collaboration with the International Fraternity of the Camino de Santiago (FICS) and the association of the traditional albergues in Castilla y Leon.

Source: AMCS (notice Protocolo Albergues de Peregrinos, in Spanish), Pèlerins de Compostelle (summary in French, easier and faster to translate)

May 2nd 2020

Portugal revoke the state of emergency. The country is now in a “state of calamity”. Planned to last until June 28.

Source: The Portugal News


April 17 2020

Portugal renews the state of emergency, planned to last until May 2nd

Source: Reuters

April 15 2020

The European Commission votes and delivers directives to member states to fight and overcome the coronavirus. It recommends control over the epidemic, sufficient heath care and stronger oversight of the global health situation in each country.

Source: European Parliament

April 13 2020

France extends its lockdown until May 11.

Source: The Guardian

April 2nd 2020

Portugal extend the state of emergency, planned until April 17.

Source: Reuters


March 28 2020

Spain strengthens lockdown measures by stopping more non-essential economical activities.

Source: El Pais

March 27 2020

France extends lockdown until April 15 at least.

Source: Reuters

March 23 2020

France strengthens its lockdown.

Source: RFI

Section of French Le Puy Camino in Aveyron, central France, is officially closed to the public until March 31st (from Saint ChĂ©ly d’Aubrac to Livinhac le Haut)

Source: PrĂ©fecture de l’Aveyron (in French)

March 19 2020

Portugal declares the state of emergency, for 15 days initially. Mobility within the country is reduced

Source: The Portugal News

March 17 2020

France closes its borders.

Source: France 24

The UE closes its external borders for at least 30 days. Until July 1st

Source: Euronews

March 16 2020

Spain closes its borders. Until June 21st (France-Spain) and July 1st (Portugal-Spain)

Source: El Mundo (in Spanish)

France officially enforces a mandatory national lockdown for 15 days at least. Non-essential activities are banned, borders are closed

Source: France 24

March 14 2020

France enters stage 3 of ORSAN REB plan. It should help reduce the effect of the epidemic wave. All non-essential public places are closed down.

Source: Euractiv

Spain officially enforces a mandatory national lockdown. Mobility is restrained, non-essential public places are closed down.

Source: The Guardian

March 13 2020

Spain declares the state of alarm for at least 15 days (extended several time, on going at the time until June 21)

Source: El Pais

The Spanish Caminos and related infrastructures are closed down to the public. Local Camino associations announce the closures of their albergues all across the country

Selection of sources: FICS, Caminos de Galice , Albergue de Roncesvalles (in Spanish, March 13 post)

The cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is closed to the public. So goes for the pilgrim’s office: pilgrims are to leave their passport in a mail box, that will be sent back to them along with their Compostela.

Source: El Espanol (in Spanish), Pilgrim office

The International Fraternity of the Camino de Snatiago (FICS) publishes a notice addressed to pilgrims, hosts and Camino representatives. It advises people not to come on the Spanish Caminos and cancels volunteers engagements.

Source: FICS (March 12 and 13 posts)

Portugal declares the sate of emergency until April 14 at least. Borders with Spain are closed.

Source: The Portugal News

March 11 2020

The OMS classifies the coronavirus as a pandemic because of the alarming propagation of the coronavirus, its severity and the lack of reaction from the authorities.

Source: OMS

8 mars 2020

Italie is the first European country to enforce an mandatory lockdown in the regions that are severely hit by the coronavirus. The Northern regions are locked down, quickly followed by the rest of the country

Source: Bloomberg

March 6 2020

The Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE) recommends devotees to avoid physical contact with cult items.

Source: Conferencia episcopal española (in Spanish)

Quickly followed by the ban to hug the statute of Saint James at the cathedral of Santiago.

Source: ABC Galicia (in Spanish)

March 2 2020

In Portugal, the 1st cases of the coronavirus are officially confirmed

Source: Reuters


February 28 2020

France enters stage 2 of ORSAN REB plan. It should help to slow down the spread of the coronavirus contamination throughout France.

Source: France 24

23 février 2020

France starst stage 1 of ORSAN REB plan. It should help to slow down the introduction of the coronavirus in France as well as to prepare heath care services ready for an outbreak.

Source: The Connexion


January 31 2020

In Espagne, a 1st case of the coronavirus is officially confirmed

Source: El Pais (in Spanish)

January 28 2020

The UE activates Civil Protection Mechanism

Source: European Communication Strategies

January 24 2020

France officially confirms 1st cases of coronavius in the country: 1st official cases of the coronavirus in Europe

Source: Politico

January 5 2020

The OMS officially confirms the apparition of a new coronavirus in the Wuhan region in China.

Source: OMS


November-December 2019

Apparition of the new coronavirus in Wuhan, China

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