Hello to all dear pilgrims! Now that 2020 is over and with it, the atypical season of the Camino de Santiago past, we can sit down to take stock. In this post we would like to share with you the experiences we have had in this last atypical season marked by the coronavirus. We also want to inform you about the current situation and what is expected during this new Xacobeo 2021.
What has been the experience of 2020?
We do not want to begin our assessment of 2020 without first thanking all the health professionals who have been, and are, in the front line of the battle against the coronavirus during all this time.
The truth is that although 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, today we want to highlight the strength of society and its ability to adapt to new circumstances. As far as the Way of Saint James is concerned, last year was a very different year for everyone. However, we have learned many things and everyone who is part of the great family of the Way has done their part to provide safety and warmth to all the pilgrims. In addition, the measures implemented by the tourist accommodations and protocols have proven to be effective.
The current situation, after the Christmas holidays, has resulted in a considerable increase in cases. For this reason, from the team of Viajes Camino de Santiago we ask for patience and responsibility in the coming weeks. We are sure that this horrible situation will soon be over and we will be able to embrace each other again more strongly than ever.
In the situation of the pandemic, there has been a milestone between 2020 and 2021 that will end up being the victory over the coronavirus in the coming months. We are talking about the implementation of the first vaccinations. In this link you can consult all the doubts you may have about the vaccines and the vaccination campaign proposed by the government of Spain.
Despite the relief we have all felt with the start of the vaccinations, we must be aware that for the moment this is not over. For these reasons, in the coming weeks the perimeter closures of the Galician municipalities most affected by the coronavirus, such as Santiago de Compostela, or starting points for the journey such as Tui, will be frequent. It is likely that the tightening of restrictions will continue, depending on developments, until the beginning of March. For these reasons, if you are thinking of doing the route, to avoid surprises we advise you to plan from the beginning of spring.
Accommodation and back to the way
Most of the lodgings along the way are currently closed. With the exception of some hotels and hostels located in cities. Depending on the epidemiological situation, it is expected that the accommodation along the route will be reopened for the Xacobeo 2021 season, starting in early spring. So, if developments are favourable, the Holy Door will probably start to receive the first pilgrims of the year from March onwards.
What can we expect from this Xacobeo 2021?
We can almost certainly say that we will not abandon the masks on the Camino de Santiago during 2021. We will all have to continue to comply with the health measures imposed so as not to spread the coronavirus, as it is not expected that the whole population will be vaccinated by spring and summer. Something you should bear in mind is that even if you have been vaccinated, you must continue to comply with the protection measures until a significant proportion of the population is vaccinated.
The 2022 extension
Everyone is living this situation in a different way. There are people who are fed up, bored, tired of the situation. Others are also fed up and continue to be very afraid of getting sick. Some have become more closed in on themselves than usual. Others may even have after-effects that need the help of therapists to return to their own normality. For these reasons we know that many people will probably not dare to go on a pilgrimage in 2021.
If you are not feeling strong this year, don’t worry, the Pope has approved the extension of the Holy Year until 2022 included. So you know, pilgrimage in 2022 will still have the same value in the eyes of the church.
For the rest, we hope that the evolution of the pandemic will be favourable in the coming months and that little by little we will be able to return to normality. We do not know what this Xacobeo 2021 is going to be like, but we sincerely hope that it will be the best year possible for all of us. Ultreia!