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Coronavirus: Rome churches cancel Mass

No Mass for the faithful in Rome churches until 3 April.

The Diocese of Rome has ordered the immediate suspension of all Masses for the faithful in churches throughout the capital, as part of the Vatican's response to the ongoing Coronavirus emergency in Italy.

The measure, which will allow priests to celebrate Mass behind closed doors, will remain in effect until at least 3 April, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The decision however stops short of closing Rome's churches entirely.

The move comes as Italy puts much of the north of the country in quarantine, affecting around 16 million people, in a drastic bid to stem the spread of the Coronavirus.

All museums, cinemas, theatres, pubs and archaeological sites are now closed throughout Italy, until 3 April in addition to the country's schools and universities.

Church services including weddings, christenings and confirmations have also been suspended in Rome and across Italy.

On 8 March Pope Francis made his traditional Sunday Angelus address by video link, broadcast to the few hundred pilgrims who appeared in St Peter's Square, days after the Vatican recorded its first case of Coronavirus.

It is unclear now whether Rome's open-air liturgies for Easter will take place as normal.

Photo Viacheslav Lopatin /

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