The reactivation of the Way of St. James advances and one of the first tangible measures will be the coordinated reopening of the public hostels of the Xunta de Galicia, the Pilgrim’s Office and the Cathedral of Santiago, which will take place on the 1st of July. This is one of the measures taken within the framework of the Organising Commission of Xacobeo 2021, where the Xunta de Galicia, the Church of Compostela and the City Council of Santiago agreed to establish a common date for this opening, within the framework of the “Safe Way” programme, which aims to provide security for pilgrims as well as for companies and city councils linked to the Way.
To this end, the Xunta has launched initiatives, both in terms of training and funding, to accompany the process of adaptation to the new scenario, especially aimed at the hostels and companies linked to the Way, in this process of gradual return to activity. In this sense, from the Xunta he assured that “we want the pilgrims to be able to return soon to the Way of Saint James”, “but the absolute priority is to guarantee the security for those who travel the route, and for the professionals or volunteers who are present in their day to day”, for which he confirmed that the hostels of the public network whose management depends exclusively on the autonomous government will open gradually, according to the offer of total accommodation places in the hostels of each city council, a measure that was suggested from the hostels themselves.
With regard to the Safe Route programme, whose objective is coordination between the managing bodies and agents present on the route,? Román Rodríguez pointed out that the preventive manual for the route is practically finished, in the absence of its definitive validation by the health authorities. Prepared in coordination with the Institute for Spanish Tourist Quality (ICTE), it will serve as an integral protocol for action on the Jacobean routes, bringing together in a single document measures and recommendations on the different services and infrastructures that the pilgrim finds along the Way. This document, developed by the initiative of Galicia, was already made available to the other autonomous communities in the Jacobean Council.
Training and direct aid
Among the measures of the Safe Path, Román Rodríguez also referred to the online training courses on health and hygiene safety aimed at hostel workers, which began with an initial offer of 500 places.
He also recalled the call for direct aid, worth 6 million euros so that the tourism and catering sector can adapt their businesses, a line that is also open to establishments along the Way. These have at their disposal the advice service through the free phone 900 815 334 and the e-mail to email@example.com, to solve doubts of sanitary security.