Vatican to reopen St Peter's Basilica on 18 May

Vatican to introduce temperature checks for public liturgies at St Peter's.

St Peter's Basilica is to reopen to the public on Monday 18 May, following a two-month closure, after undergoing an intensive sanification programme.

People attending public Masses and public liturgies at St Peter's and three other papal basilicas in Rome will have their temperatures checked as part of new church protocols to contain the spread of coronavirus, according to the Holy See press office.

The Vatican is expected to introduce special requirements at the four papal basilicas which, in addition to St Peter's, include St Paul's Outside the Walls, St John Lateran and St Mary Major, all of which are located in Rome but have sovereign, extra-territorial status.

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Holy See press office director Matteo Bruni told the Catholic News Agency (CNA) that each basilica would adopt measures that reflected their “specific characteristics”, with thermal temperature scanning expected at least during Sunday Masses and on holy days of obligation.The maximum number of faithful granted entry will be determined by authorities at each basilica, with the flow of people to be controlled by Vatican police, Italian police and church volunteers, according to Reuters news agency.     Read also:

Churches around Italy will reopen for public Mass and liturgical celebrations on 18 May, under strict conditions including limiting numbers, social distancing and obligatory face-masks, however thermal screening will not be a requirement.

Reuters reported that although Italy's museums will reopen from 18 May, the reopening of the Vatican Museums will likely be stalled while safety measures are put in place.

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Vatican to reopen St Peter's Basilica on 18 May

Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City