ETOA has been informed that the regulations for the use of headsets in the Vatican Museums are to change as of January 2, 2013.
Groups will not be permitted to use their own headsets. They will have to use the headsets provided by the Vatican Museums, operated by Antenna Audio International.
The entrance fee for the Vatican Museums is due to increase by 1 euro on the same date. It is not known if there will be another charge for the compulsory use of the headsets.
A meeting between tour operators and the Vatican Museums, due to take place at the end of September, was cancelled. The rescheduled date of this meeting has not yet been communicated.
It is not clear whether their headsets are to be compulsory only within the Vatican Museums or whether this condition also extends to the Basilica of St. Peter's.
The booking period for January 2013 will open in the middle of November, therefore, all the details will presumably need to be in place at that time. The necessary administration for the distribution and collection of the headsets is yet to be clarified.
ETOA is monitoring the situation and hopes to release more detailed information when it is available.