Beginning Oct. 1, visitors, tourists, and employees entering Vatican territory will be required to show a so-called Green Pass, a digital or paper certificate indicating they have been vaccinated, tested negative, or recovered from COVID-19, by order of Pope Francis.

The Green Pass expands the European Union’s COVID-19 certificate, making travel and access to specific venues more convenient.

According to Breitbart, the decree affirms that the Green Pass mandate extends to the Vatican’s extraterritorial properties, including Vatican-owned churches throughout Italy, as defined by the 1929 Lateran Treaty.

The Vatican press office announced the anti-COVID ordinance on Sept. 20. It was authorized by Pope Francis and signed by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission in charge of Vatican City State.

The Pope issued the mandate to the Governorate of Vatican City State to “prevent, control, and combat the public health emergency” in Vatican territory.

“The Pope affirmed the necessity of ensuring ‘the health and well-being of the working community while respecting the dignity, rights and fundamental freedoms of each of its members.'” He requested the Governorate to “adopt every suitable measure to prevent, control and counteract the health emergency,” the Vatican News wrote.

Those attending mass will be granted an exception to the restriction, but only “for the time strictly necessary for the celebration.” Health regulations, such as social distancing, hygiene, and personal protective equipment, will need to be implemented during mass.

The Vatican’s doctrinal office has stated that vaccine against the coronavirus must be “voluntary,” while Pope Francis has stated that “ethically everyone should take the vaccine” and that refusing to do so is “suicidal denialism.”

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