Italy police: Maximum security activated around the Colosseum

A "maximum security" regime, with extra checks on visitors, has been activated around Rome's Colosseum as part of precautionary measures against terrorism, Italian police said Wednesday.

"The area of the Colosseum has been placed under a maximum security regime," a statement from the Rome police said, indicating that access to the site will be regulated by screening gates manned by police officers.

The fact that the area has been fully pedestrianized for the summer period should help, police said, adding that security had been stepped up also in Via del Corso, a central shopping avenue.

Police added that the existing maximum security regime near St Peter's Basilica had been extended to the area around the Vatican Museums, and that checks would increase at cruise ship terminals near Rome.

Along with the nearby Roman Forum, the Colosseum is Italy's most popular tourist site, attracting more than 6.5 million visitors last year, according to Ministry of Culture data.

After the Islamic State attacks in Paris in November, US authorities said St Peter's Basilica in Rome, as well as the Duomo cathedral and La Scala opera house in Milan were at risk of terrorist attacks.

The US State Department currently warns that there is a "risk of potential terrorist attacks throughout Europe, targeting major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centres and transportation."

Last update: Wed, 03/08/2016 - 17:08
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