ROME — The Vatican City State announced Monday that effective October 1 no one can enter its territory without presenting a coronavirus Green Pass, by order of Pope Francis.
The Green Pass can be obtained by showing proof of vaccination against the coronavirus, demonstrating recovery from the coronavirus, or by showing a negative rapid antigen or PCR test, the Vatican ordinance states.
The decree also declares that the Green Pass mandate extends to the Vatican’s extraterritorial properties stipulated by the 1929 Lateran Treaty, which include Vatican-owned churches throughout Italy.
The pope himself instructed the Governorate of Vatican City State to issue the mandate in order “to prevent, control, and combat the public health emergency” in Vatican territory.
According to the decree, Francis did so while asserting the necessity of “ensuring the health and well-being of the working community with respect for the dignity, rights, and fundamental freedoms of each of its members.”
The Vatican has entrusted the enforcement of the mandate to its internal police force or “gendarmerie.”
“These provisions apply to citizens and residents of the State, personnel in service of any sort of the Governorate of the State of Vatican City and of the various bodies of the Roman Curia and the institutions connected to it, to all visitors and users of services,” the decree stipulates.
The Vatican diktat makes an exception for those who participate in liturgical celebrations “for the time strictly necessary for the performance of the rite,” while ensuring that such people adhere to health regulations on social distancing, the use of personal protective equipment, the limitation of movement, and gathering size.
A visitor shows her Covid-19 certificates for scanning before entering the Vatican Museums in the Vatican on August 6, 2021, as Italy made the Green Pass, which is an extension of the EU’s digital Covid certificate, required from today to enter cinemas, museums and indoor sports venues, or eat indoors at restaurants. (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
The Vatican’s doctrinal office has declared that reception of the coronavirus vaccine must be “voluntary,” but Pope Francis has said he thinks “ethically everyone should take the vaccine” and that refusing the vaccine manifests “suicidal denialism.”
Italy announced last week that a vaccination Green Pass will be required for anyone wishing to be able to work. Anyone who goes to work without a certificate will be considered unjustifiably absent, will not be paid, and is subject to punitive fines.