Special rules for visiting the Vatican during the coronavirus pandemic

Special rules for visiting the Vatican during the coronavirus pandemic

Paradoxically, given the immense tragedy that has necessitated these new rules, there has never been a better time to visit the Vatican. You will have the place nearly to yourself: guided tours will be limited to ten, and visitor numbers will be strictly regulated by time slots. 

Here are the new rules for visiting the Vatican Museums during the Covid-19 pandemic:

You must buy an advance ticket to the Vatican Museums

The most important new rule is that you must book your ticket in advance. You may no longer line up to buy a ticket.

You must observe your entry time strictly

Secondly, you must arrive on time. If you miss the very short time-slot you have been allocated to start your visit, you will be denied entry. No ifs, no buts. You will not be admitted into the 

Vatican Museum opening hours have changed

Vatican Museum opening hours are now:

Mon-Thurs

10am – 8pm (last entry at 6pm, museum and exhibitions must be cleared by 7.30pm)

Friday & Saturday

10am – 10pm (last entry at 8pm, museum and exhibitions must be cleared by 9.30pm)

Sunday

The museums are now closed every Sunday. This includes all free-entry days that formerly happened on the last Sunday of every month

Also, the Museums will be shut on June 11, June 29, and August 14 and 15.

You must observe strict health precautions while in the Vatican Museums

  • You must wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose during your visit. You may be expelled from the Museums if you break this rule, or even prosecuted. Remember, the Vatican is a different country from Italy and its own laws apply.
  • Your temperature will be taken at the door, and if it exceeds 37.5C (99.5F), you will be denied entry. 

Guided tours of the Vatican Museums will be smaller

  • Guided tours are now limited to 10 people including guide.
  • The Vatican’s own guided tours – which may be booked from the official website – are subject to the same rules.
  • This also includes visits to the Vatican Gardens.
  • The corridor from the Sistine Chapel to St Peter’s Basilica – which guided tours used to be able to enjoy – is closed until further notice.
These rules are derived from the official Vatican Museums website and were correct at the time of writing. They will be updated as new information is posted.