Tough security around Vatican

Vatican area off limits to private traffic for four days over Christmas.

The Borgo district around the Vatican is off-limits to private traffic from 24-27 December, as part of increased security measures surrounding Christmas liturgical celebrations at St Peter's.

The four-day traffic ban begins on 24 December, ahead of the Midnight Mass in St Peter's Basilica, and remains in place for the celebrations on Christmas Day and St Stephen's Day. It will also be enforced on Sunday 27 December for a special family Mass at 10.00, as part of the Vatican's Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy, and the pope's midday Angelus which together are expected to attract up to 30,000 people.

The ban affects streets in the Borgo area between St Peter's and the river Tiber, including Via della Conciliazione, Via dei Corridori, Borgo S. Angelo, Piazza Pio XII, Via S. Pio X, Via Rusticucci, Via dell'Erba, Vicolo dell'Inferriata, Via dell'Ospedale and Via Scossacavalli.

Around 1,000 police will be on duty over the four days, allowing visitors access to St Peter's following metal detector security screening.

For details of all liturgical celebrations see Vatican website.