Covid-19 in Vatican City: 4 Swiss Guards test positive

Vatican steps up restrictions as Swiss Guards test positive for covid-19.

Four Swiss Guards at the Vatican have tested positive for coronavirus, leading the Holy See to further tighten its restrictions, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

“Over the weekend, some positive covid-19 positive cases were found among the Swiss Guards” – stated Vatican press officer Matteo Bruni – “At present there are four people, with symptoms, all placed in isolation”.

The four guards are added to “three other positives found in recent weeks among residents and citizens of the state, all with mild symptoms and for which all the necessary measures of isolation at their home and verification of the people involved have been observed.”

An internal letter circulated among the regiment – cited by Swiss media – requires the guards to wear masks even inside the barracks.

The news comes about a week after 38 new Swiss Guards were sworn in at a ceremony in Vatican City.

Swiss Guards belong to the world’s oldest standing army which celebrated its 500th anniversary in 2006.

The guards must be male and of Swiss nationality, as well as being Catholic, unmarried and aged between 19 and 30. They must also have undergone intensive Swiss military training and be a minimum height of 174 cm.

In addition to protecting the pope, the army performs ceremonial duties and assists at Vatican functions, and is famous for its ancient halberd weapons and its blue, gold and red uniform.