PILGRIM RESOURCES FOR COVID-19
Following the deadly outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, most pilgrimage plans along the Camino de Santiago and Via Francigena were canceled or delayed in 2020. If you are interested in a pilgrimage in the age of Covid, here are the restrictions to assist pilgrims walking in Spain, France, Italy, and other nations.
COVID UPDATES: Camino de Santiago
Spanish authorities recently indicated that an emergency order restricting tourism (including country-specific entry restrictions) is expected to remain in place through summer 2021. Local pilgrimage for Spanish nationals may be permitted in some instances. Please consult your national embassy, Spain’s Travel Health Guidance, and national Camino organization for more timely information.
- American Pilgrims on the Camino (USA)
- Confraternity of St James (UK)
- Australian Friends of the Camino (AUS)
- The Canadian Company of Pilgrims (CAN)
- Confraternity of Saint James of South Africa (SA)
- The Camino Society Ireland (IRE)
- More Global Pilgrim Societies (EU, Asia, Africa, S.America)
UPDATE Updated Jan. 2021 – Click for more information on the Camino de Santiago
COVID UPDATES: Via Francigena
All nations along the Via Francigena route have emergency orders in place governing travel and tourism. These mandates may not be synchronized and travel between regions may be more limited. Travellers from certain regions may be subject to additional entry restrictions. It is strongly advised that pilgrims follow the “10 Rules of a Traveller” document and to consult with both the Via Francigena organization and your national embassy for timely updates.
UPDATE Updated Jan. 2021 – Click for more information on the Via Francigena
COVID UPDATES: Pilgrimage in Britain
International entry restrictions are anticipated to be in place through Summer 2021, impacting England’s Pilgrims’ Way, the Way of St. Cuthbert, and other pilgrim places within Britian. Local/regional travel may be subject to further restrictions. All arriving citizens and visitors from permitted nations may be required to quarantine (and consent to quarantine inspection) for nearly two weeks. Local pilgrimage for U.K. nationals may be permitted in some instances. European pilgrims are asked to remember that travel requirements may have changed due to Brexit. Please review specific restrictions for the U.K., consult with your national embassy and the British Pilgrimage Trust for timely updates.
UPDATE Updated Jan. 2021 – Click for more information on England’s Pilgrims Way
COVID UPDATES: Kumano Kodo
Travel for tourism and short-term purposes is not currently permitted. It is anticipated that restrictions may remain in place until or after the planned Tokyo Olympics in July-August 2021. Local pilgrimage for Japanese nationals may be permissible. Consult with the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Board and your national embassy for timely updates.
UPDATE Updated Jan. 2021 – Click for more information on the Kumano Kodo
COVID UPDATES: California Missions Trail
International travel to the United States is subject to restrictions. Within California, differing levels of restrictions are in place by region, including curfews and stay-at-home mandates with civil or criminal penalties, designed to limit person-to-person exposure. Walking and hiking may be permissible; however, local restrictions may govern travel between areas. Pilgrims are advised to review national, state, and local restrictions within California and to consult with your national embassy for timely updates.
UPDATEUpdated Jan. 2021 – Click for more information on the California Missions Trail
For all major routes, pilgrims are reminded that conditions may change with little advance notice. Precautions for personal safety and the protection of those in your contact are critical. Advance reservations may be required for accommodations.
Husband. Father. Backpacker. Pilgrim. Author.
My recent treks include the Camino de Santiago through Portugal and Spain as well as section hiking along the Florida Trail and the Appalachian Trail. In 2020 and 2021, I’m walking the California Missions Trail in the United States, as well as England’s ancient Pilgrims’ Way from London to Canterbury. Afterward, I’ll begin the Via Francigena, the historic way in Europe connecting Canterbury to Rome.