The Holy See has extended its lockdown measures until April 13, the Monday of the Octave of Easter, in accordance with Italy’s recently extended national lockdown, the Vatican announced on Friday.
St Peter’s Basilica and square, the Vatican Museums, and several other public offices in the Vatican City State have been closed for more than three weeks. Originally scheduled to last until April 3, these measures have now been extended an additional nine days.
A total of seven confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed among Vatican employees to date.
According to a statement from Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See press office, departments of the Roman Curia and of the Vatican City State have continued working only “in essential, obligatory activities which cannot be deferred.”
The Vatican City State has its own legal order that is autonomous and separate from the Italian legal system, but the Holy See press office director has repeatedly said that Vatican City is implementing measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in coordination with the Italian authorities.
During the Vatican lockdown, which went into effect March 10, the city state’s pharmacy and supermarket remain open. However, the mobile post office in St Peter’s Square, the photo service office, and bookstores are closed.
The Vatican continues “to ensure essential services to the Universal Church,” according to a March 24 statement.