After nearly three months of closure due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Vatican Museums and the Pontifical Villa of Castel Gandolfo, the erstwhile papal summer residence, will reopen to the public in June, APA reports citing Cruxnow.
The Vatican Museums will reopen June 1 while the villa in Castel Gandolfo will reopen June 6, the Vatican announced Saturday.
To prevent a second wave of the coronavirus, the Vatican said it will be rolling out a new set of security measures and a restricted schedule, but insisted that for those who come to the museums, their visit will not be “distorted in its essence.”
Everyone who accesses the museums will be required to undergo a temperature scan, and visitors will only be admitted if they are wearing a mask.
During opening hours, medical and healthcare personnel from Italy’s National Confederation of Mercies, one of the country’s largest volunteer federations, will be present and will work alongside the Vatican’s Health and Hygiene Department.
A new plan of admittance to the museums, subject to change at any moment depending on the health situation, was established, beginning with the requirement to reserve tickets online in advance on the Vatican Museums website.
Due to the “extraordinary situation,” the Vatican said it is waiving the roughly $4 presale fee typically charged when tickets are purchased online.
Museum hours will also be restricted as things get going. From Monday to Thursday the museums will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday they will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., with the last admittance beginning at 8p.m.