“To avoid gatherings and the consequent risk of contagion to Covid-19,” Pope Francis will not visit the nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square on Dec. 31, 2021. The Holy See Press Office, which had announced initially that the event would be held, suddenly announced its cancellation on December 30.
Italy is experiencing a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic following Christmas. On December 29, the Italian government reported a record of new cases (more than 98,000).
Pope Francis will celebrate Vespers and sing the Te Deum in St. Peter’s Basilica in the afternoon on December 31 to thank God for the blessings of the past year.