June 16, 2020

Vatican museum empty
Vatican museum
Vatican museum

New Rules and Regulations regarding COVID-19 at the Vatican Museum

As tourist attractions all over the world are slowly opening up again, new regulations and health prescriptions emerge. The Vatican Museum is one of these attractions that is allowed to re-open their doors, but with rules and regulations in place to avoid people attracting or spreading COVID-19.

In this post, we give you an overview of what you can expect when visiting the Vatican Museums. This post is based on the information available today, so we strongly advise you to check the official website, prior to your visit, to assure there are no updates to these regulations.

New Opening hours

  • Monday – Thursday: 10 AM – 8 PM (last entry at 6 PM and exit by 7.30 PM)
  • Friday – Saturday: 10 AM – 10 PM (last admission at 8 PM and exit by 9.30 PM)

*The last Sunday of the month, the Vatican will not be open to the public

*Other closed days: the 11th of June, the 29th of June, 14 and 15 August


Every visitor must reserve and book their tickets online from now on. Their online booking fee of 4 euros is waived as long as these COVID-19 rules and regulations are in place. This general procedure entails that you reserve a timeslot and book your entrance ticket online, prior to your visit. On the day of your visit, you will have to wait in line before entering. Every 15 minutes, a group is allowed inside, so do NOT be late or you will lose your spot. Refunds are not available!

The free access for a wheelchair user plus one companion remains, upon presentation of documents testifying disability. However, it is not possible to book these free tickets online. As always, free entry tickets are issued at the Special Permits’ Desk, which you can find in the entrance hall to the Vatican Museums.

For example: If you wish to visit the Vatican Museums with a group of four people, including one wheelchair user, then two need to follow the general online booking procedure, per the above. The wheelchair user and companion can report to the Permit’s Desk.

Your entry ticket to the Vatican Museums also includes access to the Sistene Chapel. However, the access from the Sixtine Chapel to Saint Peter’s Basilica remains closed until further notice. Entry to the Basilica is free of charge. It is not possible to reserve this prior.

Private guided tours and group visits are possible with a group of max ten people (plus guide). It is the responsibility of the guide to ensure that all rules and regulations are maintained.

COVID-19 Vatican Health procedures and rules

It is obligatory to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth during the whole visit to the Vatican and its gardens. Upon entering, your body temperature will be checked with thermometric instruments. This is mandatory. If your temperature is 37.5 °C or above, access will be denied. Inside, keep at least 1.5 meters distance from other visitors and avoid gatherings.

The guards will make sure these rules are strictly followed to ensure everybody’s safety. If you do not follow the rules, you may be asked to leave the museum. Audioguides can also be requested online. The staff will make sure that after each use, these are sanitized with great care. Disinfectant gel dispensers will also be available throughout the museums.


Until further notice, all restaurant services will be concentrated in the ‘Bistrot,’ which is located in the courtyard of the Pine Cone. The social distance rules also apply here. The other restaurants will remain closed, however, there are vending machines for food and drinks in the museum, which are regularly disinfected by staff.

Opening hours of the ‘Bistrot’ are:

  • Monday – Thursday: 10 AM – 7.30 PM
  • Friday – Saturday: 10 AM – 9.30 PM

If you have any further questions or concerns, the customer service of the Vatican itself is directly available via email: