Three Swiss guards who refused to follow the Vatican COVID-19 vaccine mandate have returned to Switzerland, the Associated Press reported.
Vatican Lt. Urs Breitenmoser told the newswire in a statement that all guards were asked to be vaccinated in order to protect their health and others within their service.
"Three members of the Guard have chosen not to adhere to that request, voluntarily leaving the corps,” Breitenmoser said.
The duty of the Swiss guards is to protect the pontiff. Members stand guard during papal ceremonies and at various entrances around the Vatican City.
Breitenmoser also said that three other guards were temporarily suspended from duty as they wait to get vaccinated, according to the AP.
Breitenmoser noted that the head of the Pontifical Commission of Vatican City State issued an ordinance last month requiring people entering the Vatican to either be vaccinated or have a recent negative COVID-19 test.
The new ordinance will also be enacted for tourists who want to visit the Vatican as well, the AP reported.
Pope FrancisPope FrancisReligion and the G-20: With faith, we can move mountains The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle Biden to have audience with pope, attend G20 summit MORE, who has been vaccinated against the virus, has urged about the altruistic and health value of vaccinations amid the pandemic, which is seeing a resurgence in many countries due to the highly contagious delta variant.