Vatican Shuts Down to Public Unless Visitors Have “Green Pass”

( – The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a resurgence with the highly transmittable delta variant becoming the dominant strain in much of the world. In an effort to slow the spread many businesses and governmental jurisdictions are beginning to require proof of vaccination, including the Vatican City State.

Pope Francis, who is both the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church and the head of state for the governing arm of Vatican City, decreed that the borders would be closed to anyone without a “Green Pass” beginning October 1. There will be very limited exceptions. Individuals can obtain one by showing proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus or a negative PCR test.

The exception is for those participating in liturgical celebrations. They may enter for the narrow window of time needed to complete the rite while practicing strict social distancing and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Vatican is not the only religious site where such proof is required. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has said that only vaccinated foreigners may undertake an Umrah pilgrimage to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

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