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Coronavirus

Pope Francis Resumes Weekly General Audience

ROME — Pope Francis is resuming his weekly general audiences with the general public after a six-month pause due to the pandemic.

The Vatican says Francis’ May 12 audience would be held in the San Damaso courtyard of the Apostolic Palace. The office of the Papal Household says health care measures would be followed.

Francis last held a public general audience in late October. Since then, Francis continued the Wednesday morning appointment, livestreaming it from his private library with just a handful of translators present.

Francis’ return to public audiences comes as Italy’s COVID-19 caseload has slowed to around 10,000 cases a day, and its vaccination campaign has accelerated.

Also Friday, the office of Italy’s virus czar says a mass vaccination campaign will target the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily and Isola Capraia off the Tuscan coast.

The Italian government has announced Italy “is ready to welcome back the world” in time for the peak summer tourist season.

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