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Rome Reports

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Vatican takes measures against the coronavirus

Until April 3, there will be no public Masses celebrated in the Vatican or in Rome. It is a virtually unprecedented measure.

The pope is celebrating Mass alone in his chapel, with a few collaborators. It broadcasts live for all of Italy.

In addition, Pope Francis will continue to have his two weekly appointments, the Angelus on Sunday and the General Audiences on Wednesday, but virtually: he is recorded alone in a room, so fewer pilgrims are in the square.

It's a little strange, praying the Angelus today, with the pope “caged” in the library. However, I see you. I am close to you.

Until the situation calms down, the pope will only hold necessary working meetings, avoid meeting groups of pilgrims, and take precautionary measures.

The Vatican Museums and the catacombs under the basilica are also closed.

The basilica is still open, but visitors are asked to keep the safe distance of one meter.

Vatican employees have similar safety guidelines as those in the rest of the country:

- Avoid crowds.

- No elevators, not to be too close to other people.

- Clean common areas often.

Obviously, those with feverish symptoms are advised to call their doctor, and avoid going to the hospital until after necessary precautions are put in place to receive them. 

Translation: Melissa Butz