As everyone is aware, we have unfortunately had to cancel the last two pilgrimages to Lourdes due to the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It is our intention to hold a pilgrimage to Lourdes this year, but this brings its own challenges. We have a duty of care and a moral responsibility to follow strict guidelines and advice to enable us to keep our pilgrims as safe as possible and to reduce any risk, while allowing us to take as many pilgrims as we can. 

We will, of course, have to follow any UK government guidelines applicable at the time of travel and any restrictions imposed by the French government. 

This was one of the reasons behind reducing our pilgrimage from seven days to five, to decrease the risk of infection and, in the worst case, of having to leave pilgrims in France who have tested positive.

It has not been an easy decision, but we believe that by taking sensible and proportionate measures, we will be able to return to Lourdes in 2022 in thanksgiving and to come together as a diocese in prayer and social action. 

For the reasons stated, we must stipulate a number of requirements for travel, and these are outlined below. 

Please be aware that these restrictions are necessary to reduce the risk not only to you but to the vulnerable people we will be taking to Lourdes.

We will not be using the facilities within the Accueil Notre-Dame for the 2022 pilgrimage but will look to accommodate all registered pilgrims asking for support in one of the hotels.



In addition to any government requirements both in the UK and France, we require all pilgrims to provide:

  • Proof of full vaccination (Covid passport required)
  • A negative lateral flow test taken a maximum of 24 hours before departure (proof required)
  • A completed “Declaration of Honour” (French requirement, see French government website)


In addition to any government requirements both in the UK and France, we require all pilgrims to provide:

  • Proof of full vaccination (Covid pass required)
  • A negative lateral flow test taken a maximum of 24 hours before departure (proof required).
  • The results of a lateral flow test to be taken on arrival in Lourdes.
  • A completed “Declaration of Honour” (French requirement, see French government website


  • Volunteers must accept responsibility for assessing their own individual risks associated with joining the pilgrimage as a volunteer. This will include considering any underlying medical conditions they may have that make them more susceptible to the effects of Covid-19 – some underlying medical conditions may place volunteers at higher risk during the ongoing pandemic.
  • If you are unsure, you should discuss this with your GP or consultant before booking.
  • More information can be found here.


  • Those hoping to travel to Lourdes who need assistance or care are generally deemed to be more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19.
  • Those at increased risk will require thorough medical assessments before travel. It may be necessary for us to stipulate additional terms and conditions that must be met in these cases.
  • In some instances, it could be beneficial to discuss the individual’s risks associated with Covid-19 with a family member.
  • We will only be able to take pilgrims to Lourdes whose needs have been properly assessed and a decision has been made that these individual needs can be met by the Hospitalité.
  • Unfortunately, in some circumstances, the risks identified following an assessment may prevent us from offering you a place on the May 2022 pilgrimage.
  • More information can be found here.


Our Hospitalité volunteers will provide the following support while on pilgrimage in Lourdes:

  • Assistance with mobility.
  • Assistance with washing and dressing etc.
  • Assistance with personal care.
  • Assistance with eating and drinking.
  • Assistance to enable attendance at services and social activities.
  • Overnight assistance may be possible with prior arrangement and assessment.
  • We will endeavour to offer privacy and dignity in a compassionate way.
  • Companionship

In all cases, we will always keep every pilgrim’s personal information confidential.

The Medical and Nursing team will offer support and care to registered pilgrims.  

The Medical and Nursing team can provide advice and treat any minor conditions which can be treated with over-the-counter medications available in France.  

Please be aware that the Medical and Nursing team will not diagnose or change treatment plans for chronic medical conditions, unless in the event of a medical emergency.

In acute or emergencies where a pilgrim becomes unexpectedly, or suddenly unwell, assistance will be provided until the local health services are in attendance. At that point, the responsibility for the treatment of the individual will pass to the local health service provider, with assistance from the tour operator and insurer.  


It will not be possible for us to accept the following high-risk individuals on the pilgrimage:

– Those who are unvaccinated,

– Those who are oxygen dependent, and

– Those who are NIV/CPAP dependent


At the current time, the authorities in Lourdes have reported no cases of Covid-19 related hospital admission for any visiting pilgrims.

  • A Health Charter (strict guidelines including cleaning protocol) has been introduced and is strictly adhered to.  
  • Regular cleaning of touchpoints (door handles, elevator buttons etc).
  • Hand sanitiser is freely available in all areas.
  • Masks are compulsory in all indoor areas and within the Domain, even outside areas.


Everyone travelling to Lourdes must be aware of the procedures which are to be adhered to following a positive Covid -19 test while in France. The guidelines in force at the time of the pilgrimage must be followed, but we anticipate that the necessary measures will include:

  • For everyone who develops symptoms of Covid-19, a lateral flow test must be completed (the tour operator will assist in accessing this).
  • If a lateral flow test is negative, no further action is required.
  • If a lateral flow test is positive, isolation is compulsory until the results of a PCR test are available – this should normally be in your hotel room, though any roommates will be separated from you. For those in close contact with you, a lateral flow test is recommended.

If a PCR is positive:

  • Isolation in your hotel room for seven days is compulsory.
  • Meals will be served in the room.
  • Those attending must wear PPE.
  • Those who have been in close contact with you may also need to isolate should they also test positive (roommates will be tested).

There may be a need for a family member to fly out to Lourdes to accompany a pilgrim who is unwell and needs assistance but not enough that warrants hospital admission. 

  • This will be handled by the tour operator, who will assist with arrangements and involving the insurer. This family member must be identified before travel.
  • There will be a delayed return to the UK for anyone who tests positive.
  • Insurance: We recommend the tour operator’s insurance, which covers Covid-19 (see terms and conditions of insurance). Proof of insurance will be required for those not taking the tour operator’s insurance
  • A GHIC or valid EHIC card is essential. In the event of hospitalisation, the support from the Medical and Nursing team in Lourdes will effectively be handed over to the local health services, with assistance from the tour operator, and continuity of care could, therefore, be affected. Your pilgrimage Medical and Nursing team will not be able to visit you in hospital.