Pope Francis will not baptise babies in Sistine Chapel due to covid-19

Baptisms will take place in babies' home parishes instead of Vatican.

Pope Francis will not carry out the traditional baptism of babies on Sunday 10 January due to concerns over covid-19, the Vatican has announced.

The ceremony had been scheduled to take place in the Sistine Chapel this Sunday, on the feast of the baptism of Jesus, however the christenings will now be celebrated in the families' respective parishes.

The cancellation of the event, which usually involves dozens of babies, comes as Italy extends the nationwide anti-covid restrictions in place over Christmas until 15 January.

The baptism is the latest Vatican event to be cancelled, rescheduled or restricted as a result of covid-19.

The pope's Urbi et Orbi blessing on Christmas Day was moved inside St Peter's, with the number of faithful allowed to attend Christmas ceremonies extremely limited.

Pope Francis then missed the New Year's Eve and New Year's Day ceremonies due to sciatic pain.

However the pontiff will preside over the Epiphany Mass on 6 January, a public holiday in Italy, the Vatican confirmed.