Because Rome is the home to museums belonging to the city itself, to the Italian government and even to private foundations (which means each category has their own rules) there still seems to be some confusion about said safety procedures, so we thought about listing them all in this post: that way, if you’re thinking about traveling to Rome soon (or soon-ish) you’ll have one less thing to do research about!
The 10 rules when visiting museums in Rome in 2020
Every museum will have a thermal scanner on their premises: it will be used on to check your body temperature doesn’t go above 37.5°C (99.5 °F). Some thermal scanners will be physically placed on your forehead, while others work as a security camera, from a distance. Refusing to be subjected to the scan won’t allow you to access the museum. If you’re running even the slightest fever, authorities will be alerted and, again, you will be turned away.
Museum tickets have to be booked beforehand. While this policy is technically only mandatory for those museums that were already doing so before the pandemics (examples: the Borghese Gallery, the Raphael exhibition at the Scuderie del Quirinale Museum), the general rule at this time is that it is strongly suggested that you book all of your visits. This is to allow the museums to turn away an excess number of visitors, if need be, and allow for social distancing to remain in place. This also serves the purpose of contact tracing: your details are with the museum offices, and this you can be warned in the event a fellow visitor has shown symptoms. The Vatican Museums now observe a strict mandatory booking policy for their tickets. No exceptions 🙂 Of course everyone loves a more spontaneous museum experience, and realizing you’re close to a museum in a new city and wanting to go in is only natural: however, we can’t say for sure that you won’t be turned away if you do so, so to avoid disappointment you’d better stick to these rules.
It’s not possible to enter the museum without a mask on, nor it is possible to take it out because it’s hot/you don’t feel comfortable/you can’t breathe properly. There are no exceptions made at this time. It would be best to visit wearing latex gloves (or their equivalent), but if you don’t have any go with hand sanitizer: use it often, regardless if it is your own or is provided by the museum.
Maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres (at least 5 ft.) from your fellow visitors. Of course the above doesn’t apply if you’re visiting with your family or with a loved one. Respect the signs and the visit route directions the museum will have readied for you.
Cashless payments, more specifically contactless card payments or mobile phone payments, will be the preferred option in the museums’ gift shops or cafeterias, so as to avoid the exchange of coins and notes.
Some museums do not accept group visits, so if you’re traveling with one make sure you reach out to their offices to learn about their specific rules on this matter. The museums that do accept groups will limit the number of members to 10 people maximum. Oh, and make sure you follow your guide’s instructions!
In certain areas of every museum, entrance is limited to two people at a time on average. Toilets are one example, as are cafeterias that are open within these establishments. Exceptions may be done if you’re the only adult visiting with two or more children but when in doubt, ask the personnel around you!
Bringing larger bags, backpacks or suitcases remains prohibited, particularly with the current situations.
Should you be asked for some personal details by the museum staff, don’t be put off: this is, again, for contact tracing purposes and it’s in your best interest too!
Finally, if there is something you don’t see listed here, do ask the museum staff! They’re there to help you and guide you 🙂