Over 14 months since start of the pandemic, there is good news on the horizon as Spain looks to welcome pilgrims from June.
News has been filtering in from Spain over the last few weeks that their state of alarm would be lifted and this was confirmed today. Portugal had previously confirmed that the border between Portugal and Spain is now open. So now Spanish people are free to travel within the country. News that the state of alarm was lifted was received with joy and delight but I’m not sure if the partying in the street was the right response.
So where are we?
EU citizens are travel within the EU but you may be subject to criteria. For example, if I was to travel to Portugal now I would need a negative PCR test 72 hours before each flight. I look forward to the EU new digital green card which will allow travel if one can show proof of a negative PCR test or vaccination. There is no date when this will be implemented yet but I would imagine it will be operational by June.
For those who live outside of the EU, you will need to wait a little bit longer, as Spain has prolonged its travel restrictions for countries outside EU until the end of May. The digital green card will hopefully be operational by then, but we wait and see.
In Spain, approx 20% of the Spanish population has received their first dose, so it is still required to wear a mask outdoors. Restrictions are still in place in the form of curfews, depending on what region you are in. Obviously, if the situation gets worse, I would imagine each regional government will impose their own restrictions.
The youtube channel “Spain Speaks” is a very good place to get your daily fix of updates – a resident of Madrid – he breaks down the news for us folks living outside of Spain.
Personally speaking, I wait for my first dose of the vaccine. I will continue to be patient and until then I will continue my Camino at home. That said, we are picking up pace here in Ireland but we are far way behind the UK and the USA. Our own government is hoping that 80% of the population will have their first jab before the end of June. It is a big ask, but we shall see if it is met. We are on the right road, however, and I am hopeful. This is good news and I look forward to returning to the Camino! That said, there is huge demand to return to the Camino – from all over the world. Every pilgrim misses walking these routes and I can only imagine how busy Santiago will be when “normality” returns.