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Rome Reports

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Vatican Museums close again because of pandemic

In June, the Vatican Museums reopened after nearly three months of shutdown because of the first coronavirus wave.

“I'm actually very excited. I said the first thing I would do as soon as the lockdown ended was go to the Vatican Museums, and here we are!”

The reopening however, lasted only five months. The second wave of Covid cases forced the Italian government to readopt old restrictions.

Museums must also close. The Vatican has decided to follow Italian authorities' lead.

The restriction will be in place at least until Dec. 3, and will affect the Vatican Museums, the Pontifical Villas and the excavations of St. Peter's tomb beneath the basilica.

The General Audiences have already been limited to live-streaming following the detection of a Covid-19 case among those present at the public event.

This week, during his first audience without pilgrims, the pope asked for strict adherence to health officials' guidelines.

“Unfortunately, we've had to go back to holding the audiences in the library to protect ourselves against Covid-19 contagion.”

In Italy between June and September, the number of new daily cases was about 2,000. In recent weeks though, this number has shot up to over 30,000 per day.

You have to understand that we're working very hard. Wait times are long. I ask you to be patient.

The situation has saturated hospitals and testing sites. Tensions are also rising in the hospitality sector, one of the most affected by government restrictions. That's why the number of protests asking the government for financial help in response to job losses is increasing.

Javier Romero

Translation: CT