The Galician Government has confirmed that by the end of March 2021 in Galicia there will be an insurance for pilgrims, which will be in place for one year. This represents another project, promoted by the Xunta de Galicia, to reinforce the image of Galicia and the Camino de Santiago as a safe destination. An important initiative to support the recovery of the tourism sector that has been so affected during the Covid-19 pandemic. Let’s see what this insurance consists of and how it can help tourists and pilgrims who want to undertake their route to Santiago in this Xacobean Holy Year.
What does the insurance for pilgrims consist of?
The project consists of offering free insurance to pilgrims who want to undertake one of the routes to Santiago de Compostela and who will be able to activate this service in case of contagion. In order to access this insurance, pilgrims who are not residents of the community will have to be staying in any type of Galician accommodation, for a period of less than 30 days and have been infected in Galicia. If the traveler meets these requirements, the insurance will cover the costs of the person infected with covid-19.
However, if the traveler who undertakes the trip to Galicia knew in advance that he/she was infected, the insurance will not take effect. The same will happen in the case of travel after a declaration of prohibition or after the authorities in their place of origin have advised against travel to Galicia.
What expenses are covered?
The coverage of this insurance, which ranges from 500 euros to 15,000 euros, will not only cover all medical expenses (surgical, pharmaceutical and hospitalization) but also the costs of a mandatory extended stay (with a maximum time of one month) or medical repatriation. As we know, according to current regulations, in case of symptoms, travelers must undergo mandatory quarantine by prescription, even if they are not positive. For this reason, the project of the Xunta de Galicia has developed this help for both the insured and an accompanying person.
How does it work?
In order to facilitate the procedures and be able to offer an effective assistance plan, the Xunta will provide a telephone line that is active 24 hours a day, every day, in both Spanish and English. In this way, it will not only provide a support service for travelers who are infected, but also will be able to do a more effective monitoring of cases in Galicia.
For now, this insurance is unique in the peninsula, since no other community has offered this type of coverage. In principle it will be in effect for one year, but it could be extended for another 9 months. In the unfortunate event that Galicia reaches an average hospital occupancy rate per covid-19 of more than 50%, the insurance policy would lose effect.
Galicia as a safe destination
The autonomous community of Galicia will allocate a total of 1.3 million euros to this initiative. This insurance is a very important measure for the Galician community that lives largely on the Camino de Santiago. The insurance for pilgrims and travelers is part of the plan to strengthen the tourism sector, which in total will mobilize 35.7 million euros. Undoubtedly a considerable sum that will help to increase the perception of safety among travelers who choose Galicia as a tourist destination this year 2021.
This measure aims to increase the feeling of confidence in the Galicia Safe Destination program, which has already been promoted, at least in part, in 2020. We also want to recall that those who undertake the Camino live an outdoor experience, without big agglomeration, in open spaces and away from the most crowded destinations. This already allowed a few hundreds pilgrims to walk the Camino safely last summer.
Our hope is that thanks to preventive health measures and the very nature of the Camino, many pilgrims will be able to enjoy this wonderful adventure as soon as possible. If you have any questions about the Camino de Santiago, contact us – at Galiwonders we are your local experts!