Vatican Museums will reopen June 1 as Italy opens borders to tourists

Vatican City, May 23, 2020 / 08:35 am (CNA).- The Vatican Museums announced Saturday that it will reopen on June 1, two days before Italy opens its borders to European visitors after nearly three months of lockdown.

Entrance to the Vatican Museums will only be possible via prior reservation to limit the number of people in the museum and stagger entrance times. All visitors will be required to wear a mask and mandatory temperature checks will be conducted at the entrance.

To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, group visits to the museums will be capped at a maximum of 10 people.

The Vatican Museums will have been closed for 12 weeks since the Italian government announced the closure of all museums and archaeological sites throughout the country on March 8.

Throughout Italy’s lockdown, the Vatican Museums maintained only essential services requiring about 30 employees. The museums employee nearly 1,000 people, among them are administrators, restorers, art historians, and ticket agents.

The Italian government has announced that Italy will open its regional and international borders on June 3, allowing tourists from the European Union to visit Italy without being subjected to a quarantine requirement.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that this will create the conditions to help Italy’s tourism industry to recover.

The Vatican Museums receive millions of visitors each year, and generated around $87 million annually as of 2015, half of which was surplus revenue for Vatican City, according to the Economist. In the months that the museums have been closed due to the pandemic, Vatican City has likely lost millions of dollars in revenue.

Due to the travel restrictions, the first visitors to the reopened Vatican Museums on June 1 will likely be local Romans, rather than the usual tourists.

To accommodate local visitors, the museums have extended their hours to encourage afternoon and evening visits, especially over the weekend.

The museums will be open Monday through Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. each day. On Friday and Saturday the museums and gardens will stay open until 10 p.m. with an optional cocktail hour in the courtyard.

The Vatican Museums have also added an open-bus tour of the Vatican Gardens.

“I would like this moment of difficulty to turn into an opportunity,” Bishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga said in an interview published by L’Osservatore Romano.

The museum and gardens at the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo will also be reopening on June 6 with additional safety measures.

Vergez, the general secretary of Vatican City State, encouraged Italian families to visit the museums and the gardens.

“The weekend … could become an ideal opportunity to seize the extraordinary opportunity to visit the summer residence of the popes and the splendid Gardens of Villa Barberini. The hot and beautiful sun of these days seems to invite us to this!” Vergez said.

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1 Comment

  1. The bigger truth is we have a public health problem much bigger than covid. The bigger problem is almost-useless health education in middle school thru college. Unless you become a chiropractor, nutritionist or holistic health practitioner, you never learn to be-friend and support the human immune system effectively.

    The reason for people’s vast ignorance of immune health and self-care is simple: advertising.

    Any advertising platforms accepting ads for drugs-products from Big Pharma, know they have to avoid ads for vitamins and natural immune support products. If you accept ads for drugs, they cannot appear next to ads for vitamins.

    This is a big reason why there is so much anti-vitamin and vitamin-skeptical journalism. These pieces tell Big Pharma your media outlet is a safe place to invest their ad dollars.

    The endgame of this dangerous lack of health education is also simple to conceive, especially for churches. Churches who teach about immune system health will be first to reopen safely.

    Churches are under the most pressure to respond creatively about immune system issues. Why? People have two questions? Who do I feel safe to be around without a mask? and Who can I trust my kids to be around without a mask? Nowhere are these more pressing questions than for churches.

    For churches especially, the pressure is on to answer: What is the endgame of masks and physical distancing? What replaces these at the end? I believe this is timely, practical question to ask from the pulpit this Sunday.

    The best answer to the question I’m aware of is this. What replaces masks and physical distancing is TALK, CONVERSATION and MUTUAL SUPPORT about our immune health and challenges.

    I expect such talk will be largely pleasant for like-minded congregants.

    Yes, this means transparency between people about their health state. Yes, this means talk about more and better vitamins; as well as, lessening dietary bad habits.

    No, it does not condone complaining. If an individual complains about their health, without being open to any new ideas or any change of their behaviors, this contradiction can be gently called out and made into a norm: If I you complain and are not open to solutions, you can be called to task on your contradictions. Invite people to get into dyads with whomever sits next to them. Invite them to role play the complainer and the responder with Emotional Intelligence Switch roles. How about this Sunday?

    The most useful talk to replace masks and physical distancing is information and experience exchanges, what worked for me; and, what did not work for me. This is practical spirituality in the best sense.

    While many good online sources and many potential local health speakers exist, I advise people with questions to ask and in need of a place to fact-check statements they hear, go to This is the biggest, most up-to-date online source of info and recommendations, written by an MD who prefers natural remedies and supplements before drugs and surgery. Audio and video versions of many articles and interviews.

    Who would you have to talk to at your church, to get something like this going?

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