Italy makes face masks mandatory outdoors as coronavirus cases climb – National

Italy makes face masks mandatory outdoors as coronavirus cases climb - National



ROME — Italy on Wednesday made it mandatory to wear face masks outdoors nationwide in an effort to reduce rising COVID-19 infections, the health ministry said after the cabinet agreed on the measure.After curbing the epidemic by imposing a rigid lockdown between March and May, Italy has seen a steady increase in new cases in the last two months, reporting an average of more than 2,400 infections daily in the past week, a Reuters tally shows.
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The decree imposing masks outdoors will probably be effective from Thursday, a government source said. [ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]
Several Italian regions including Lazio, around the capital Rome, have already made face masks mandatory.

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Italy has the highest death toll in continental Europe with over 36,000 confirmed fatalities since its outbreak came to light on Feb. 21. Story continues below advertisement

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However, its daily infection numbers are now much lower than those recorded in other major European countries such as France, Spain and Britain.The cabinet also approved a decree to extend the COVID-19 state of emergency to Jan.31.The state of emergency, originally due to expire in mid-October, gives greater powers to central government, making it easier for officials to bypass the bureaucracy that smothers much decision-making in Italy.

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