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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Continuing a phased reopening, the Vatican's free pediatric and maternal health clinic began welcoming patients again June 3 and, as an expression of gratitude, the Vatican announced all medical personnel would enjoy free admittance to the Vatican Museums and to the papal summer villa at Castel Gandolfo.
The Vatican Museums and Vatican Apostolic Archives reopened June 1. The museum and gardens at Castel Gandolfo were set to open June 6.
The St. Martha pediatric clinic, operated by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses, resumed its mission of serving pregnant women and children at no charge; most of those who use the clinic are immigrants and refugees who do not have access to the Italian health service.
In a statement June 3, the office governing Vatican City State, which includes responsibility for the museum and the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo, said it wanted to show gratitude for the work that doctors, nurses, lab technicians and other staff at health care facilities throughout Italy provided during the worst part of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The normal price for a ticket to the Vatican Museums is 17 euros ($19) and for the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo, a ticket is 11 euros ($12.35).
With a hospital or clinic ID card or a professional association membership card, health care workers and one guest can enter the museums for free June 8-13 or can have a free visit of the Castel Gandolfo complex June 6 or 7 or June 13 or 14, since the villa is open only on weekends.
Reservations are required to ensure that social distancing is possible, and visitors to the museums and papal villa must wear masks.