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VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican will still be asking for COVID papers, at least until the end of the month.  

Yesterday Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State for the Holy See, affirmed in a decree that the Vatican will maintain all its current COVID requirements despite the relaxing of mandates throughout Europe, including Italy.  

According to the National Catholic Register, Parolin claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic “requires specific extraordinary and exceptional measures to counter it and ensure the safe conduct of activities.” The cardinal referred to the decree of March 30, in which the president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State had extended all COVID restrictions until April 30. These restrictions apply to both Vatican personnel and visitors.  

It is unclear why the decree was published yesterday when its restrictions are valid only until the end of the month.   

There has been no record of deaths from COVID-19 on Vatican territory during the whole period of Italy’s declared emergency, which began in March 2020. The Vatican nonetheless has imposed some of the most restrictive measures in the world since the end of last year. 

Beginning just before Christmas, all staff, external collaborators, and visitors have been required to show a “Super Green Pass” to enter Vatican offices or buildings. The “Super Green Pass” can only be obtained through proof of either being triple vaxxed or having recovered from COVID-19 within the last 6 months; a negative COVID test does not suffice to obtain the pass.  

Any documentation besides the “Super Green Pass” is not acceptable for entry into Vatican buildings, although all that is required to enter St. Peter’s Basilica is an FFP2 mask. Failure to obtain a “Super Green Pass” on the part of any Vatican employee is deemed an “unjustified absence” from work, entailing the penalty of a suspension of pay.  

The Vatican announcement comes as Italy has just ended its state of emergency on March 31, and is set to end its indoor mask mandate on May 1, though other restrictions will last for months.