Italy makes mask-wearing compulsory OUTDOORS

Italy makes mask-wearing compulsory OUTDOORS as Covid cases in the first European country hit by virus climb

  •  The new law came into effect on Thursday across Italy 
  • Lazio and Campania have already made mask wearing mandatory outdoors 
  • On Saturday, Italy saw 2,844 new cases, its highest daily count since April 

Italy has made it mandatory to wear face masks outdoors nationwide in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, as new infections jumped to the highest daily tally since April.

The decree was approved at a cabinet meeting after a steady increase in cases over the last two months and came into effect on Thursday.

Several Italian regions including Lazio, around the capital Rome, had already made face masks mandatory.

Data from the Health Ministry showed 3,678 cases were reported in the last 24 hours, up from 2,677 on Tuesday and surging past the 3,000 mark for the first time since April 24.

Italy is still recording far fewer daily cases than other large European countries such as France, Spain and Britain. 

Italy has made it mandatory to wear face masks outdoors nationwide in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus,

Italy is still recording far fewer daily cases than other large European countries such as France, Spain and Britain. People are pictured queuing for a test in Naples

On Saturday, Italy saw 2,844 new cases, its highest daily count since April, but still far below the numbers being recorded in France, Spain and Britain

Italy has seen some 36,000 deaths since its outbreak came to light on February 21, the second highest official toll in Europe after Britain

Infections in Italy (Rome, pictured) – the first European country to be hit by the virus – have risen steadily over the past two months

As a part of Rome’s effort to curb contagion, Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Wednesday ordered compulsory testing on travellers from the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Czech Republic.

Italy was the first country in Europe to be hard-hit by COVID-19 and has the second highest death toll in the continent after Britain, with 36,061 dying since the outbreak flared in February, according to official figures.

Thanks to one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, the government managed to get the contagion under control by the summer but infections are now rising fast.

However, daily COVID-related deaths remain far lower than during the first wave of Italy’s epidemic six months ago.

Some 31 people died of the virus on Wednesday, the Health Ministry said, while April 24, the last day with more than 3,000 cases, saw 420 deaths.

The cabinet on Wednesday 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. 

On Saturday, Italy saw 2,844 new cases, its highest daily count since April, but still far below the numbers being recorded in France, Spain and Britain.

The daily death toll is normally below 30, a far cry from the tallies of close to 1,000 it suffered at the peak of its epidemic in late March.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Tuesday there was no room for complacency.

‘The battle is not won, and we will need to remain on maximum alert during the weeks and months to come,’ he said at a conference in Rome.

Italy has seen some 36,000 deaths since its outbreak came to light on February 21, the second highest official toll in Europe after Britain.

Conte said last week he would ask parliament to extend the country’s Covid-19 state of emergency to the end of January and the cabinet is due to meet late on Tuesday to formalise the decision.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (pictured last week) said on Tuesday there was no room for complacency

The regions of Lazio, around Rome (Saint Peter’s Square last week, pictured), and Campania, around Naples, have already made mask-wearing mandatory outside

On Saturday, Italy (Rome pictured) saw 2,844 new cases, its highest daily count since April, but still far below the numbers being recorded in France, Spain and Britain

The state of emergency, 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.

It was yesterday reported that Italy – along with Greece and Sweden – could be added to the UK’s quarantine list this week amid the continued surge in coronavirus cases across Europe.

The countries would be added to the ‘red’ list of high-risk destinations, but it comes as the Government is considering slashing quarantine from 14 days to eight days.

A negative test on the eighth day after returning from a high-risk country would allow the period of self-isolation to end. 

But the shortened isolation will be of little solace to families looking to take half-term holidays as the number of ‘red’ countries grows. 

Italy’s (Rome pictured) daily death toll is normally below 30, a far cry from the tallies of close to 1,000 it suffered at the peak of its epidemic in late March

Italy’s cumulative number of cases over seven days – a key metric watched by Downing Street – hit 25.6 per 100,000 residents. In Greece, it is 22.3 and Sweden, which adopted fewer restrictive lockdown measures, is 31.7. The Government’s threshold is said to be 20. 

The Daily Mail’s Get Britain Flying Again campaign is calling for an air passenger testing regime to rescue the aviation sector and boost the virus-ravaged economy.

It is hoped the new eight-day quarantine could come into effect before Christmas, and the tests would be paid for by travellers, according to The Telegraph. 

The Government is said to be sceptical about testing on the fifth day, a model adopted by Germany and Iceland,  because 15 per cent of infections would be missed.

Testing on the eight day results in a 95 per cent accuracy, Ministers say. 

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