The Camino de Santiago, like many other aspects of our lives, has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are getting closer and closer to a solution, but in the meantime, we remain subject to the changing restrictions and health and protection measures that are adopted at any given time depending on the famous infection curve and cumulative incidence rates.
Although 2021 should be the year of the Camino de Santiago, people's lives come first. The third wave of Covid-19 has left us with limitations of services and mobility and has closed the Camino for months. Not only because of the recommendations of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, which declared the risk of spreading the virus to be very high. It is also because the European Union has decided to limit travel between member countries as much as possible, as well as international flights. The aim is to control the spread of the virus so that we can enjoy a safer summer with fewer restrictions.
The Way of St. James begins to open
What is clear to us at Proguias is that it is everyone's responsibility to comply with the rules. The aim is to stop the pandemic and return to normality as soon as possible. We want to enjoy the Camino de Santiago, the outdoors and all the great cultural attractions of this route, but we want to do it safely.
The Way of St. James is now beginning to unblock. At the time of writing, the sections within Galicia can already be done. Hostels, hotels, guesthouses and other accommodation are starting to open their doors as well. This is good news for all those people who, like us, love the Camino.
If you live outside Galicia, you will still have to wait to embark on the route. But that doesn't mean that you can't take advantage of this moment to make decisions and plan your Camino. You can consult the different sections, stages and programmes on our website and call or write to us if you have any questions.
Is it possible to do the Camino de Santiago now?
For the time being, Easter Week will be a week without the possibility of mobility between the different autonomous communities of Spain. In addition, the curfew continues in all regions between 22:00h and 6:00h - with the exception of Madrid. The aim is to favour environments that are less laden with coronaviruses and to avoid possible outbreaks such as those that occurred during the Christmas period. Even so, the government is beginning to prepare the post-Covid Camino plan.
But don't worry. The hunger for the Camino that we all have, to enjoy every second of the experience, can still be satiated in small doses, without leaving your community or the perimeter closures, if any. Many pilgrims tell us that they are doing stages within the permitted, taking advantage of the proximity of the route to their area of residence.
In addition, this is an unbeatable opportunity to value the destinations that we have close to home, which are often the most forgotten. So why not do the stretch of the Camino that you have closer? Surely you will discover its magic, and, if it is the first time you make the pilgrimage, it will serve as experience for when you want to finish it arriving at Compostela.
Due to Covid-19 it is very difficult to make predictions. But it is expected that, by the summer, those communities where the virus has managed to slow down, or remain stable, will be mobile among themselves.
Handbook of Pilgrims
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Opening of hostels in Galicia
A good sign of these changes in restrictions is the reopening of public hostels in Galicia. For the moment only for residents of the community, but hopefully soon for everyone. However, some municipalities are still limited by specific perimeter closures. This is the case of Lourenzá on the Northern Way, Mos on the Portuguese Way, Soutomaior on the Portuguese Way along the coast, or Miño on the English Way; where you are not allowed to stay overnight, but you can pass through. Even so, if you live in Galicia, there are itineraries that you could do in full, such as the English Way or the The Fisterra and Muxía Way.
From 12 March, pilgrims in Galicia will be able to spend the night in hostels, in collective dormitories, with an occupancy up to 30%. We work with hotels, guesthouses and rural tourism establishments. And these have individual rooms and a policy of strict cleaning and disinfection, so they are totally safe.
Proguias measures before Covid-19
In Proguías we are committed to the Camino de Santiago, but even more with the health of those who travel with us. And although right now it is difficult to do the Camino, we want you to be able to start planning it with time and peace of mind despite the Covid-19. Therefore, we have implemented the following measures to make things easier for you. You will be able to take advantage of them until 31 December this year 2021.
- Free cancellation. All our programmes have an optional cancellation insurance to cancel your trip at any time and get your money back. You can consult the terms and conditions here.
- Date changes. If you book now and, due to restrictions, are unable to travel, you will be able to postpone your trip by changing the dates, at no additional cost, for the whole of 2021 and 2022. In addition, we will maintain the price. Changes must be made at least 1 month in advance of the travel start date.
- Programme changes. As with date changes, you can also change the route or the chosen programme. Please note that each programme has its own price and a different number of days and stages, so we will have to adjust the price difference.
- Change of ownership. If you are unable to do the Camino or have changed your mind, we can request a change of ownership of the trip, at no additional cost, and pass your trip on to a friend. During the whole year 2021 and 2022. You only have to let us know 1 month in advance.