Three Vatican Swiss Guards ‘resign’ after refusing to get Covid vaccine

Three Vatican Swiss Guards have reportedly resigned after refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine.

The guards left on a “voluntary” basis, according to a spokesperson for the corps, following the Holy See’s enforcement of new Covid-19 measures.

Another three unvaccinated members who decided to get the jab have been temporarily suspended until they are fully inoculated, Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneva reported.

A spokesperson for the Swiss Guards, the elite colourfully dressed corps that protects the pope, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A health certificate showing proof of immunity to Covid has been required to enter the Vatican since 1 October.

The so-called Green Pass – originally conceived to ease travel among European Union states – shows that someone has been vaccinated, tested negative or recently recovered from coronavirus.

However, the Swiss Guards, who together with the Vatican’s gendarme work in close vicinity to the Pope on a daily basis, have been required to show proof of full vaccination, as opposed to a negative test.

Pope Francis walks past a Vatican Swiss Guard as he arrives for his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall, at the Vatican

(Andrew Medichini/AP)

Nearly all of the guard are single men who live in barracks just inside the Vatican gates.

Commanders and married members live in separate apartments. All members have Swiss nationality.

Four of them tested positive for Covid-19 in October last year.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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