Home Vatican News Vatican updates COVID-19 protocols, relaxes vaccine mandate, masking rules

Vatican updates COVID-19 protocols, relaxes vaccine mandate, masking rules

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Women wear floral headpieces and masks for protection from COVID-19 as they attend Pope Francis' general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican in this Feb. 2, 2022, file photo. The Vatican has updated its COVID-19 protocols, allowing most employees and visitors to enter Vatican City State without a vaccination certificate or proof of recovery. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican updated its COVID-19 protocols, allowing most employees and visitors to enter Vatican City State without a vaccination certificate or proof of recovery.

In a decree published June 2 by the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said that “entry to the dicasteries, bodies and offices that make up the Roman Curia and the institutions connected with the Holy See is permitted without the obligation” of having the vaccine certificate known as a “super green pass.”

In Italy, the “super green pass” was given only to people who were fully vaccinated or recently recovered from the disease, thus placing even more restrictions on those who were unvaccinated without medical reason.

However, the decree stated that the vaccine mandate “remained in effect for the Pontifical Swiss Guards.”

Pope Francis takes off his mask during the meeting, ìFaith and Science: Towards COP26,î with religious leaders in the Hall of Benedictions at the Vatican in this Oct. 4, 2021, file photo. The Vatican has updated its COVID-19 protocols, allowing most employees and visitors to enter Vatican City State without a vaccination certificate or proof of recovery. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Cardinal Parolin also eased the Vatican’s mask requirements, decreeing that wearing masks indoors or in large gatherings, while no longer required, “is strongly recommended.”

Nevertheless, “the obligation to comply with health requirements regarding hand sanitation and the frequent ventilation and periodic sanitization of rooms remains,” the decree said.

Unvaccinated employees who have had contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 are allowed to return to their offices after a 10-day quarantine period and a negative test result. However, vaccinated employees who have had contact with someone who is positive can go to work immediately but they are required to wear high-filtering FFP2 masks indoors, it said.

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