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Rome takes first steps to reopening major tourist attractions

The Vatican Museums and the Colosseum were among the venues to open their doors as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

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Members of the media walk inside the ancient Colosseum during a press preview for the reopening of the museum, in Rome (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse/AP)

Members of the media walk inside the ancient Colosseum during a press preview for the reopening of the museum, in Rome (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse/AP)

Members of the media walk inside the ancient Colosseum during a press preview for the reopening of the museum, in Rome (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse/AP)

A long queue of masked visitors snaked outside the Vatican Museums as one of Italy’s biggest tourist draws reopens after a three-month coronavirus shutdown.

Museum director Barbara Jatta popped out of the museum and appeared to briefly greet visitors waiting on line, spaced apart, to have their temperatures taken before being allowed to tour the Sistine Chapel and other treasures.

Across town, Rome’s other big attraction, the Colosseum, also opened its ancient doors, but it appeared there were more television crews than tourists on hand.

Italy on Wednesday will further loosen travel restrictions in the one-time epicentre of Europe’s pandemic in a bid to reboot the tourism industry that accounts for some 13% of the national GDP.

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Vatican Museum director Barbara Jatta, centre, stands outside the museum entrance to welcome back the first visitors on the museum’s reopening date (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)

Vatican Museum director Barbara Jatta, centre, stands outside the museum entrance to welcome back the first visitors on the museum’s reopening date (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)

AP/PA Images

Vatican Museum director Barbara Jatta, centre, stands outside the museum entrance to welcome back the first visitors on the museum’s reopening date (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)

Italians will be allowed to freely move about the country and European Union visitors will be welcomed without quarantine requirements.

Despite the government’s go-ahead, some regional governors are pressing for some ability to trace tourists or test them to make sure they aren’t bringing the virus with them.

PA