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Italian police close St Peter’s Square to public

The Italian police closed St Peter’s Square on Tuesday following the Italian government decree extending quarantine measures to all of Italy to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The Italian authorities have jurisdiction over the square, which they closed shortly before noon on March 10.

Italian police told CNA the square is closed and no one may enter except for work purposes.

Swiss guards at St Peter’s Square confirmed to CNA that tourists and pilgrims are not allowed to enter the basilica to pray because if the square is closed the basilica is also “automatically” closed. One said they are waiting for more information.

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 stated that Vatican City is implementing measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in coordination with the Italian authorities.

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