The Vatican Museums are one of the largest and most important museums in the world. They were originally founded in 1506 by Pope Julius II but after 500 years of history, the attraction is changing its rules to cope with the novel coronavirus.
The Vatican Museums officially reopen on 1 June 2020, but here is what you need to know about visiting in the post-Covid era.
Coronavirus at the Vatican
On the 5th of March 2020, the Vatican confirmed its first official case of coronavirus. In the next three months, a total of 12 cases were confirmed in total between Vatican City residents and employees but thankfully there were no deaths.
On the 8th of March, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel closed due to the pandemic with an unlikely re-opening date of April 3rd. St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica were later closed to the public on March 10th.
As Italy began to ease its lockdown rules, the Vatican (which is a separate country) followed suit.
Vatican Museum New Hours and Rules (June 2020)
The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel re-opened on Monday the 1st of June 2020. There are new rules and new opening hours, but keep in mind that old rules like the Vatican dress code are also still in force.
New Opening Hours
- Monday to Thursday are 10 am to 8 pm with last entrance at 6 pm
- Friday and Saturday are 10 am to 10 pm with the last entrance at 8 pm and the possibility to book an aperitivo in the Pinecone Courtyard.
- Free last Sunday of the month is currently suspended.
- All visitors must wear a mask inside the Vatican Museums at all times.
- You must book your tickets in advance via the Vatican Museums official website. There will be no waiting in line allowed.
- The additional 4 euro fee that you would normally have to pay to book your skip the line tickets in advance no longer applies.
- You must be very punctual on arriviving at the Vatican Museums in regards to the time that is on your tickets. This is to control the flow of people at all times.