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Italy tells citizens they must wear a mask if a friend visits your home

George Martin
·3-min read
Rome was the site of anti-mask protests on October 10, 2020, in Piazza San Giovanni, even as Italy undergoes a resurgence of coronavirus infections.  (Photo by Sirio Tessitore/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Anti-mask protests taking place in Rome over the weekend. (Getty Images)

Italy has introduced stricter lockdown measures which will see people required to wear facemasks when other people visit them in their own homes.

The country has seen a large spike in cases in recent weeks which led prime minister Giuseppe Conte to reintroduce several of the social distancing rules which were eased over the summer months.

The new legislation will affect gatherings, restaurants, sports and school activities and will take effect within 24 hours, remaining valid for 30 days.

Parties in restaurants, clubs or in the open air are banned and the government has strongly recommended that people do not hold parties in their homes or host more than six guests at any time.

A medical worker prepares to proceed drive-through COVID-19 tests outside the Santa Maria della Pieta' hospital in Rome on October 12, 2020. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)
A medical worker prepares to proceed drive-through COVID-19 tests in Rome. (Getty)

When visiting others indoors it is also now firmly advised to wear a mask, which is already obligatory in public buildings and outdoors.

Daily new coronavirus cases in Italy doubled last week, topping 5,000 on Friday for the first time since March and rising close to 6,000 on Saturday.

They eased slightly in the last two days but normally rise in the second half of each week.

Read more: Italy makes face masks compulsory outdoors all the time as cases hit five-month high

Deaths linked to COVID-19 are far fewer than the peaks above 900 per day around the end of March, but fatalities have been edging up in recent days, with 39 reported on Monday.

The picture in Italy is much the same in several European nations, including the Netherlands and France where measures have also been tightened.

President Emmanuel Macron met senior cabinet ministers on Tuesday to discuss possible further restrictions to tackle a second coronavirus wave sweeping across France.

Italy introduces new lockdown measures

The country reported more than 1,500 COVID-19 patients in intensive care on Monday, a level not seen since late May.

France's five largest cities – Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse and Lille – are among nine metropolitan areas already on maximum alert, meaning bars and gyms are closed and restaurants operate under strict sanitary conditions.

A new round of social restrictions will also be announced by the Dutch government on Tuesday evening, including the possible closure of cafes and restaurants, as the Netherlands battles to control the coronavirus in one of Europe's major hotspots.

The number of cases in the country of 17 million has surged in recent weeks to a daily record of nearly 7,000 on Monday. It now has one of the highest per capita infection rates worldwide.

In Spain meanwhile, the Madrid region had 724 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the two weeks to October 9, according to the World Health Organization, making it Europe's third densest cluster after Andorra and Brussels.

The regions of Catalonia and Navarre imposed new restrictions on working and public gatherings on Sunday after rises in COVID-19 cases.

Spain said on Friday it had recorded 861,112 coronavirus cases – the highest number in Western Europe – and 32,929 deaths.

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