Face masks become mandatory in Rome, with spike in coronavirus cases

ROME (ITALY) – Local authorities announced on Friday that face masks will have to be worn at all times out of doors in the Italian capital Rome and the surrounding Lazio region, as it witnessed a rise in cases.

Italy on Thursday registered more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time in months. Lazio accounted for some 265 of those cases.

A number of other Italian regions such as Campania centred on Naples, have already made mask wearing obligatory outdoors.

Lazio’s health chief Alessio D’Amato told on Friday, “Most of the cases are tied to the lack of respect in using masks and in social distancing.”

Italy was the first country in Europe to be heavily impacted by COVID-19 and has the second highest death toll in Europe after Britain. It has registered 317,409 cases.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has ruled out any return to a nationwide lockdown, but officials have said tighter restrictions might have to be applied in future .

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