A few weeks ago we wrote a post offering you all the information available on how the coronavirus had affected the Way of Saint James. Today, with great joy, we are delighted to provide you again with all the information we have today.
With great joy, since it is not for less, today many territories of Spain premiere phase 3! It seems that the effort, which we have been making all these weeks together, and the general awareness, are bearing fruit. We are getting closer and closer to the new normality! And together with it, we will be able to enjoy again experiences like the Way of Saint James.
When will it be possible to make that trip that you had planned so eagerly and enthusiastically for this year 2020? In the following lines we tell you all the information that exists today.
When can we do the Way of Saint James?
We are getting closer and closer to finally reaching the “new normal”. With the entry into Phase 3 we arrive at a new scenario that offers us many more freedoms. In fact, it is expected that on Tuesday 9 June, the government will approve the Royal Decree-Law that will regulate the new normality.
What’s new in Phase 3?
The entry into Phase 3 brings important news for the tourism sector:
- The tourist accommodations may reopen to the public the common areas with a 50% capacity.
- Active tourism and nature activities are resumed in groups of up to 30 people.
- The tour guide activity returns, preferably by appointment and with a maximum of 20 people per group. During the activity with guides you will avoid going to areas susceptible to agglomeration.
- No material objects such as brochures or audio guides may be provided during tourist activities.
From today, Monday 8th June 2020, mobility between provinces of the same community in Phase 3 is allowed. For the Galician people it is already possible to do the Way of Saint James through the routes of Galicia! Moreover, the Galician Government has already announced that it is working to allow mobility with nearby territories that are in the same phase, such as Asturias, and with Portugal.
For the others, it’s not long now either! If everything goes according to plan, it is expected that by the end of June, mobility will be allowed within Spain, so we would resume the Way of Saint James at national level!
So you know pilgrims, if you are resident in Galicia, you can already do the Way! And for the other pilgrims from Spain, we encourage you to plan your Way from July! We will be waiting for you in Santiago de Compostela with open arms.
A new, safe and quality tourism
During all this time, governments, tourism organizations and associations have been working hard on the development of Measures and Protocols for tourism activities. Everything so that this summer you can enjoy activities such as the Camino de Santiago, with the guarantee of maximum security.
In fact, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has developed comprehensive guidelines for the reopening of tourism. Along these lines, the Galician government has also developed protocols for all tourist establishments.
Protocols for accommodations
In the last few days, the lodgings we work with have transferred to us their protocols of hygienic-sanitary measures to prevent the coronavirus. Among the main measures we highlight:
- The cleaning staff will be trained in Prevention of Infection Spread (POSI). For each cleaning they will use disposable gloves, apron and cap, as well as mask and face shield.
- The appropriate disinfection products will be used and the rooms will be thoroughly ventilated. All surfaces and objects in the room should be thoroughly disinfected.
- Steam will be used to clean soft surfaces (sofas, curtains, carpets…) and textiles will be washed in industrial washing machines at more than 65º.
- In all bathrooms there will be gels and hydroalcoholic disinfectants available to customers.
- Check-in and check-out will be facilitated online, or in a non-presential mode to avoid direct contact.
- In the common areas, the regulations on cleaning, capacity and social distance specified by the authorities will be complied with.
- The letters and information provided by the accommodation will always be delivered to the clients in digital format.
You already know that for us, the great family of the Way of Saint James, the most important thing will be always that you can enjoy calm, with the maximum safety. For this reason, we assure you that the accommodations we work with will have all the pertinent hygienic-sanitary measures. All the information will always be at your disposal.
What about the hostels?
Many of you may wonder, what will the situation be like in the shelters? Well, the truth is that the situation will be much more favourable than you probably think. Besides the protocol made by the authorities, there is another one made by the Association of Municipalities of the Way of Saint James (AMCS).
Among other things: the number of pilgrims per room will be reduced, beds will be distanced, disposable sheets will be used for pilgrims who do not carry a sack, belongings (rucksack and boots) will be disinfected on arrival and each pilgrim will keep them in a self-closing bag; in addition to taking the temperature, use of a mask and hydroalcoholic gels will be available. Everyone must be responsible and contribute to the hygiene of the common areas. For example, in the bathrooms there will be alcoholic sprays to disinfect toilets and showers after each particular use.
We assure you that by reviewing the protocol, there is no lack of detail to ensure that everything goes smoothly!
All ready to go
In addition to all the protocols that regulate tourist activities, the Way of Saint James has an advantage over other types of tourism. The Way is a type of tourism, which takes place in the open air through natural and rural environments where it is easy to maintain a safe distance and other health recommendations.
So far, we have all adapted in our everyday life the ways of life of the “new normal”. Now is the time to start practicing activities such as tourism within the new normality!
We are sure that together we will continue to keep alive the essence of the Way of Saint James, which has been intact for so many centuries. Despite the social distance, we will continue to leave individualism behind and will continue to be enriched by all the values and learning that this magical journey offers us.
So, you know pilgrims! This summer let’s support national tourism together. A sector that, despite the difficulties, has not stopped working with desire and illusion to offer you the best experience.
Now more than ever, let’s keep the spirit of the pilgrim alive and take care of each other so that we can all enjoy! From Viajes Camino de Santiago we will be happy to advise you on everything you need.