Face coverings will soon be mandatory in all outdoor spaces across Italy, the country’s health minister said in a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday.
Roberto Speranza said lawmakers are working on a proposal to make the use of face masks required in all outdoor spaces in an effort to combat the increase of coronavirus cases.
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“Italy, together with Germany, is the one that in the EU is holding up the second wave better, but we must not have any illusions,” Speranza said.
Currently across the country, face coverings are required to be worn in public places in the evening, and individual regions have enacted their own rules. Most recently, authorities in Lazio, the region that includes the capital Rome, made it mandatory to wear coverings outside at all times.
The president of the council of ministers is expected to announce the order on Wednesday after discussions by the cabinet, and the new rule would likely go into effect on Friday, CNN reported.
Italy was the first country to be hard hit by the virus outside of China, where the pandemic originated. The country was devastated by the coronavirus and its health system was overrun. Health officials report more than 327,580 cases of the coronavirus in Italy and more than 36,000 deaths.