The Vatican Museums, home to some of the world’s greatest art treasures, will close for a month as part of new restrictions announced by Italy to stem a sharp rise in coronavirus infections and deaths.The museums had reopened with a limited number of visitors on June 1 after being closed for three months during the first wave of Covid19 in Italy.

The Vatican said in a statement that the museums would be closed until at least December 3.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the Vatican Museums, which include Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, attracted about 6 million visitors a year and were the Vatican’s major source of revenue.

It should be noted that the weekly audience of Pope Francis took place online, after one of the participants in a public audience last month tested positive. Speaking from his private library with the participation of a minimum of priests , the Pope called on the citizens to follow the coronavirus instructions set by the authorities and health experts.