Concerns over Coronavirus

JabbaPapa

Member
New York Times :

Italy’s government is considering the extraordinary step of locking down entire sections of the country’s north, restricting movement for a quarter of the population in a sweeping effort to fight the coronavirus not seen outside of China.

The Italian outbreak, already the worst in Europe and the worst outside of Asia, has already inflicted serious damage on one of the Continent’s most fragile economies and triggered the closing of Italy’s schools.

A Lombardy official confirmed that the measures being discussed would essentially close down the northern region of Lombardy, Italy’s largest and most productive, accounting for a fifth of Italy’s GDP, and would come into force on Sunday and last until April 3. Media have reported they would also ban weddings, funerals, sporting and cultural events, and criminalize bars that did not enforce strict rules about patrons keeping distance.
 

JabbaPapa

Member
These are the areas that people will not be able to enter and exit if the decree is passed, as it likely will be if it hasn't been already, from tomorrow 'til 3rd April :



This will include being unable to move between the affected regions themselves, so you could not travel say from Pavia to Piacenza.

As such, the only Francigena route that will be free of restrictions (for the time being) is the coastal Via Apulia one.

I feel very sorry for those of you that will be affected by these drastic measures ... :(
 

Jennyreeve

Member
Consider the situation you would face if you did contract the virus . Alone in a strange city and faced with hostility or fear from frightened locals . Examine your insurance policy minutely , travelling to an area affected could be construed as " not taking adequate precautions for personal safety " a favourite cop out of many policies .
Alone , sick and afraid with no financial or medical back up from home sounds like a dismal circumstance .
That is of course a concern. Waking up to the news this morning that Lombardy is in lockdown until April 3rd is making us think again. We are still trying to stay optimistic and hopeful, but are starting to look at other options for our time off. not sure what to do now.
 

JabbaPapa

Member
That is of course a concern. Waking up to the news this morning that Lombardy is in lockdown until April 3rd is making us think again. We are still trying to stay optimistic and hopeful, but are starting to look at other options for our time off. not sure what to do now.
I'd say go on pilgrimage anyway, but keep your options open by heading towards Arles rather than the Alps.

Then when you get there, well turn either left & East to Rome if the coastal Francigena is still practicable ; else right & West to Lourdes > Compostela instead. Or if neither, end there this go, but keep all options open from Arles for later -- whether a more classic Francigena via the Domitia or the coastal Aurelia, or a Camino, or even a walk back home via Rome, or etc.

There are going to be some 2020 pilgrimages that are going to be like those of the early 1990s and earlier simply by the fact that they will require an "old-fashioned" manner of doubt and DIY, without safety nets nor guarantees.
 

Pong

New Member
I'm on the 4-5 year plan and would have continued my walk from Vitry le Francois to the Swiss border this year. I have flights booked Boston- CDG-Boston for April 13th with return for May 16th. I have not done anything to cancel my flight - waiting to see if United will provide vouchers or refund, but either way, I won't be going. My chief concerns are the 4 airports (an outbound conection at Dulles, inbound at Montreal), and spending 9 hours in a metal tube in extremely close quarters with others coming/going from various parts of the world. I don't usually let things bother me, but this has my attention for sure. I have travel insurance with trip cancellation, but even if I did not, I would not be going. I'm 72 and though I'm in good health, I think it would not be worth the risk -- Another thing I was wondering about is whether some of the chambres d'hôtes and gites d'étapes might be closing up shop due to the virus. I would be walking through an area already limited in accommodation. Anyway, that's my thinking. I wish everyone good health whatever you all decide.
 

Remotelee

New Member
I'm on the 4-5 year plan and would have continued my walk from Vitry le Francois to the Swiss border this year. I have flights booked Boston- CDG-Boston for April 13th with return for May 16th. I have not done anything to cancel my flight - waiting to see if United will provide vouchers or refund, but either way, I won't be going. My chief concerns are the 4 airports (an outbound conection at Dulles, inbound at Montreal), and spending 9 hours in a metal tube in extremely close quarters with others coming/going from various parts of the world. I don't usually let things bother me, but this has my attention for sure. I have travel insurance with trip cancellation, but even if I did not, I would not be going. I'm 72 and though I'm in good health, I think it would not be worth the risk -- Another thing I was wondering about is whether some of the chambres d'hôtes and gites d'étapes might be closing up shop due to the virus. I would be walking through an area already limited in accommodation. Anyway, that's my thinking. I wish everyone good health whatever you all decide.
United sent an email today to people in their milage plus, to say what they are doing re the Coronavirus parts of the email read
Before you fly
To give you the greatest flexibility, when you book any flight with us now through March 31, you can change it for free over the next 12 months – any ticket, any fare type, any destination.​
In the air
Our aircraft are equipped with state-of-the-art circulation systems, similar to those found in hospitals, which use a high-efficiency (HEPA) filter to circulate the air and remove more than 99% of airborne particles. We're also adjusting our inflight service to limit person-to-person contamination. This includes handing beverages directly to customers instead of allowing customers to touch a tray and ensuring all flight attendants wear gloves during service.​
I am also concerned about accommodations closing shop. A friend in the Netherlands told me today that they have closed schools and public buildings in some towns north of Paris. So it is possible the municipal and religious type accommodations will close.
 

JabbaPapa

Member
Posted by someone else on the Camino forum :

-----------

Due to the decree of the Italian State to contain the coronavirus epidemic, as of today, the following hostels are closed indefinitely:

- Ostello di Lamporo (Via Francigena)
- Santi Eusebi, Vercelli (Via Francigena)
- La torre merlata, Palestro (Via Francigena)
- Ostello comunale, Robbio (Via Francigena)
- Ospitalità parrocchiale, Nicorvo (Via Francigena)
- Ospitale di Sant’Albino, Mortara (Via Francigena)
- La Grangia Benedettina, Orio Litta (Via Francigena)
- Ospitalità Sant’Antonio, Caniparola (Via Francigena)
- Ospitale San Nicolao, Lucca (Via Francigena)
- La casa di Lazzaro, Acquapendente (Via Francigena) until april, 4th
- Domus peregrini, Montefiascone (Via Francigena)
- Ospitale del Pellegrino, Viterbo (Via Francigena)
- Casa Sofia, Filattiera (Via Francigena)
- Ospedale della Provvidenza, Roma (Via Francigena)
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
As of March 9th all Italy is suffering travel restrictions.

"Italy has extended its emergency coronavirus measures, which include travel restrictions and a ban on public gatherings, to the entire country.
On Monday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ordered people to stay home and seek permission for essential travel.
Italy's coronavirus death toll jumped from 366 to 463 on Monday. It is the worst-hit country after China.
The number of confirmed infection also increased by 24% from Sunday, official figures showed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in all 20 Italian regions."
 

JabbaPapa

Member
Not sure of the precise situation in France at present time, as there are technically no internal travel restrictions in place (though they are under discussion), apart from some lightening of public transport timetables from the lowered demand and reduced personnel (mainly people needing to stay at home to look after children). However, given the overall shutdown of State-organised social premises, it's rather certain that at least all the municipal hostels in France are closed.
 

AdrianoConnie

New Member
We are not meant to leave Australia until May 28 and start walking from Canterbury June 1st. We are sitting and waiting until later in April to make a final decision. My common sense side says to wait until next year. My childish, two year planning side is crying, stomping my feet, and feeling sorry for myself. Perhaps this will peak and start to fall maybe in April and through June and July Europe will be begging people to start becoming tourists again and our presence will be welcome. ARRRGH!!!!! I respect that countries are saying dont walk and dont come. If that is the recommendation, that is ultimately what we will do. Praying until mid April for resolution for all of the earth and healing. Blessings everyone
 

JabbaPapa

Member
Journeys within France now require justification and a certificate -- the Authorities expect people to print their own, hmmm

However one interprets it though, the routes in France are now de facto closed.
 

Jennyreeve

Member
I have just read this on the Schengen visa website:
The EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen while announcing the proposal, said that UK citizens, though in the transitional period of leaving the EU, would not be subject to the entry ban.
“The UK citizens are European citizens, so, of course, there are no restrictions for the UK citizens to travel to the Continent,” she explained


mind you, I doubt if pilgrims will be able to get accommodation or find an open cafe right now.
 

JabbaPapa

Member
Just mentioning this for completion' sake, as the British sections and variants of the Francigena are still legally walkable, but ...

London is on the verge of a lockdown, starting with some 40 Tube station closures plus the whole Waterloo & City line.

And according to the Express :

"The government is also said to be considering closing most shops in the capital.

Transport may even be restricted to key workers in London by the weekend, according to Whitehall sources.
"

Bear in mind that "London" in this sense means Greater London, so that a vast area of South East England could soon be in lockdown.
 

JabbaPapa

Member
France has been placed in a State of Medical Emergency for a period of two months.

And whilst the following seems to not really affect me personally, given the nature of the very weird Borderland where I live, plus the fact that far too many local Police officers (both French and Monégasque) seem to respect me quite strangely as a pilgrim ; nevertheless, sports and other activity in France outdoors has been restricted to one hour and within a 1K radius from home. Technically, the permitted activities related to food purchases, medical visits, administrative requirements, etc. are also restricted within those hard limits, though of course the local police and gendarmerie will hardly prosecute those out completely in the sticks for whom a simple shopping trip might be a 2 to 4 hour expedition.
 
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