News on the accommodation of the French and the Portuguese Ways, the Primitivo and the Norte in 2020

After Covid-19, The Spanish borders are opening up at the end of June. It also means that the Camino will be available again for international pilgrims, but unfortunately there will be plenty of changes (about which you can read more here), which also entails the decrease of capacity of the albergues. As a consequence, many of the albergues won't even open in 2020 and it is certain that prices will increase.
All the Spanish provinces went back to normal on 20/06/2020, if what’s about to happen can be called normal. You can travel in from EU countries from the 21st of June, and from other countries from the 1st of July. However, there will be a three-step checking waiting for travellers, during which you’ll also have to announce where you’re going to stay during your visit. I don’t know how this latter step can be taken in case of pilgrims. You’ll have to wear a mask in places where it’s not possible to keep a 1.5-metre distance from other people. The fine for not wearing a mask in such places is 100 Euros.

In details:

The network of national accommodation operated by Xunta Galicia (they keep their prices at 8 euros with less beds available), the Pilgrims Office and the Cathedral will all be open from the 1st of July. There is a manual about the new rules and you can also take courses on the topic. Safety has become a top priority, so that pilgrims can return to the Way.

I’m making an attempt here to gather the bits of information appearing in Camino-themed forums or on websites, regarding what pilgrims can expect this summer. I’d like to emphasize though, that this is just an informative article, to give you some help about what to pack for the journey. There hasn’t been an official announcement about the duties of pilgrims, so far.

The most important part is wearing a mask. In Spain, they are planning to issue a 100 Euro fine on people not wearing a mask in places where a 2 metres distance cannot be held from each other. This applies to the rooms and bedrooms of the albergues, as well. It is vital that you bring enough masks with you. In the albergues, a 1.5-2 metre distance must be kept between the beds, and the upper beds of bunkbeds must not be used either. As a consequence, the amount of beds will decrease to 40% of the former number. This is why you’ll have to book accommodation well in advance - in some places it will be mandatory, in others it’s just recommended. Paying by card is also recommended, in order to minimize cash traffic. The credencial can be stamped by the hospitalero only, it is prohibited for others to touch the stamper. You won’t find a common-use pen there either, you’ll have to use your own pen for signatures.

The shoes/boots of pilgrims will be bleached in the albergues upon arrival in order to disinfect them. In some places, backpacks will also have to get disinfected. One rule is common in all albergues: you can only keep your backpack in the room if it is stored in a large plastic bag. My advice is that you keep a few plastic bags in your backpack, in case it is needed. The requirements about disinfecting kitchens are the most difficult to keep for those operating an albergue, as they will have to disinfect the area after each use. Due to this rule, owners are planning to keep the kitchen closed, instead. In places where they are keeping the kitchen open, all conventional plates, cups and cutlery must be removed and disposable plastic ones will have to be used instead. I’d have my own plate, cup and cutlery in my backpack if I went there this year.

There won’t be any blankets in the albergues, you’ll be allowed to sleep in your own sleeping bag only. You won’t find a towel for wiping your hands in the bathrooms either, so beside the normal-sized one, you should also bring a small-sized towel with you. Bathrooms will also have to be disinfected after each use. This will probably be the task of the pilgrim, who used it. Beds will be covered with rubber or plastic, as it is much easier to clean after use. And pilgrims will apply their own paper bedsheet that they’ll get in a sterile package. Touching the beds of others will be prohibited. Enforcing the hygienic rules will be the responsibility of the hospitaleros. The increased amount of responsibility will certainly result in a greater amount of stress in the beginning. My advice to you is that you ask about all your duties upon arrival, so that you don’t get into trouble by not doing what you’re required to. Partly because of this, and partly because of the bookings, it is more important this year to speak Spanish. Pilgrimage this year will be completely different than in previous years.

Nobody has experience in this topic yet, but my personal opinion is that with these hygienic protocols, not only the virus will be terminated, but also the whole atmosphere of the Camino. Adios having dinner together, adios singing together to the sound of a guitar, adios hugging each other crying with laughter. 

But which albergues will be open, and from when? I've gathered information there is to know now (and I'm planning to update and broaden the data continuously), mostly with the help of my friend Rózsa Benedek, (former owner of the albergue Delfín in Muxia, Galicia).

Camino Frances - The French Way

in Navarra, until Logrono
as of 18/06/2020
UPDATE 22.06.2020. - The big albergue in Roncesvalles opens 3. july only with half of the beds they have. The use of a facemask and disposable bedsheet is a must, pilgrims have to purchase sheets there for an additional 2,5 euros.

No saben - No information
No abre - Won't open
Abierto ya - Open
Cerrado este ano - Closed for the season/year

Camino del Norte
source: Ray Rosa, ar of 04.06.2020
Abierto: Open
Cerrado: Closed

-Albergie de Peregrinos de Irún. CERRADO
-Añbergue Capitán Tximista. Fuenterrabía. CERRADO DEFINITIVAMENTE
-Albergue de Peregrinos Santa Ana. Pasajes de San Juan. CERRADO 2020
-Albergue de Zarautz. CERRADO 2020.
-Albergue Kanpaia Getaria 01/07
-Albergue Convento de San José. Zumaia. CERRADO 2020.
-Albergue de Peregrinos de Deba CERRADO 2020.
-Albergue de peregrinos Santa Cruz de Begoña. Bilbao. CERRADO 2020.
-Albergue El Pontarrón de Guriezo. CERRADO.
-Casa de la Trinidad. Laredo 01/07
-Central Hostel Santander
-Albergue La, Rectoral Priesca. 01/07
-Albergue Peón. Capión
-Albergue municipal Pedro Solís Avilés 01/07
-Albergue municipal Soto de Luiña 15/06
-Albergue El Andén. Novelllana
-Albergue municipal de Cadavedo 15/06
-Albergue La Yalga. Querúas. 01/07
-Albergue de Almuña. 01/07
-Albergue Casa Lua Luarca. 21/06
-Albergue San Roque. Navia. 15/06
-Albergue Piñera. Navia. 15/06
-Albergue de Tol CERRADO
-Albergue Camino Norte. Figueras.
-Albergue A Pena. Vilela. 01/07
-Albergue O Xistral. Abadín.
-Albergue Salvior. Lorenzana 28/06
-Casa de Gándara. Boimorto 01/07
-Albergue O Botafumeiro Arzúa


Source: Ray Rosa
as of 04.06.2020.

Camino Portuguese

(source: Craig Ruxton)

from Porto to the spanish border
source: Raimund Joost, as of 17.06.2020.

Geöffnet - Open
The Spanish section of the Portuguese Way
Albergue Convento del Camino +34690328565 Apertura 1 de Julio
Albergue Santo Domingo +34650820685 Cerrado este año
Albergue Villa San Clemente +34678747700 Apertura 1 de Julio
Albergue San Martín +34640616473 Apertura 1 de Julio
Albergue Público +34638276855 Apertura 1 de Julio
Albergue Ideas Peregrinas +34986076330 No contesta
Albergue Pallanes +34986682446 Abierto
Jacob´s Hostel +34646858627 Apertura 15 de Junio
Alojamiento Camino Portugués +34886133252 Apertura 4 de Julio
O Casucho da Peregrina Google Maps Cerrado permanente
Albergue SendaSur +34886129569 Abierto
Albergue Público +34986335248 Apertura 1 de Julio
Albergue Camino de Santiago +34623161267 Apertura 1 de Julio
Hostal Louro +34669683476 Abierto
Albergue Santa Ana – Veigadaña +34986094277 Aperttura 1 de julio
Albergue Santa Baía de Mos +34986348001 Apertura 1 de Julio
Albergue O Corisco +34986402166 Abierto
Pensión Brasil 2 +34986402251 Abierto
Albergue Santiago de Vilavella +34673414752 Apertura 25 de Junio
Albergue A Rotonda +34657805988 No contesta
A Conserveira +34676667293 Apertura 1 de Julio
Albergue Público Casa da Torre +34986404196 Apertura 1 de Julio
Albergue A Casa da Herba +34644404074 Apertura 1 de Julio
Albergue Rosa d´Abreu +34886096755 Apertura 1 de Julio
Alb. parroquial Santiago Apostol +34627748802 Apertura 1 de Julio(solo grupos)
Albergue Alfonso XII +34986400153 No contesta
Albergue Avoa Regina +34604085701 Apertura 1 de Julio
O Refuxio de la Jerezana +34601165977 Apertura 15 de Julio
Pensión Jumboli +34626669835 Abierto
O Recuncho do Peregrino +34617292598 Cerrado/Apertura Marzo 2021
Hotel Santo Apóstolo +34986495136 Apertura 1 de Julio
Albergue A Xesteira +34659746772 Abierto
Albergue Lameiriñas +34616107820 Cerrado este año
Albergue O Lar de Pepa +34986678006 Cerrado este año
Albergue O Mesón +34986670165 Abierto
Alb. Público Virgen Peregrina +34986844045 Apertura 1 de Julio
Aloxa Hostel +34986896453 Apertura 1 de Julio
Hostel NaCama +34986050888 Apertura 1 de Julio
Slow City Hostel +34631062896 Apertura 1 de Julio
Pensión Casa Alicia +34986857079 Abierto
Pensión Casa Maruja +34986854901 Abierto
Pensión Casa Sara +34686970265 Abierto
Hostal Peregrino +34986858409 Abierto
Sta Mª de ALBA
Hostal Corinto +34986870345 Cerrado este año
Abierto - Open
Cerrado - Closed
Cerrado este ano - Closed for this year
Apertura 1 de Julio - Opens 1st of july
Update - 22/06/2020
Source: Johnniewalker Santiago
As of the 21st June free movement will be allowed within the whole of Spain, and as of the 22nd all restrictions on movement within Europe lifted with the exception of Portugal (that will be 1st July) and possibly the UK - which has to make bi-lateral agreements with each member of the EU. (As of this morning, the UK government website still advises against all but essential international travel. As long as that remains in place, your travel insurance may not cover you.) The situation is still very fluid and changes constantly.
The pilgrim office and the cathedral will open on the 1st of July. Work on the cathedral will continue.
There will be a progressive opening of public albergues; with priority given to public albergues where is there is little or no private accommodation available. There will be a booking system for public albergues.
An app will soon be available that will allow pilgrims to check live information about availability of accommodation, and therefore if they need to try a different albergue. This is because capacity in public and private albergues will be reduced to between 25 and 33% of usual. The Xunta albergues will maintain their charge at €8.
All albergues will have clear guidelines posted as to how pilgrims will need to behave... there will be social distancing (1.5m), and temperatures will taken before being allowed into the building.
Albergues will have guidelines for hygiene - it is unlikely that kitchens will be available for by pilgrims at first. Food, shops, and restaurants are open, but with reduced capacity.

All Spanish and French associations are looking for hospitaleros. Public albergues are attended by employees. Availability of hospitaleros will affect openings.
Correct and up to date information is published on the Xacobeo web site - and that will say when the app is ready and give links to information for other parts of the caminos. For the Camino Frances, use the existing app of the Asociacion de municipios del Camino Frances (AMCSantigo) Caminoapp You can also subscribe to their newsletter for news.

HOWEVER - please note that much of this advice relating to public Albergues relates only to Galicia - please check carefully if planning to travel in other regions of Spain.

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