ITALY MAKES MASKS COMPULSORY
Italy has introduced a new measure to make masks compulsory when outdoors after recently passing a decree to extend the national state of emergency to January 2021, according to a Euronews report.
Under the new measure, Italians are required to wear a face covering at all times while outside, unless they can absolutely guarantee they are isolated from others.
This essentially means masks are mandatory in all urban and semi-urban settings — and anyone found not to comply could face a fine between €400 and €1,000.
Going further, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that while an already established order to wear masks indoors couldn't be extended to private homes, he urged people to keep their distance.
"The state can't ask citizens to wear masks in their own homes," he said. "But we have a strong recommendation for all citizens: Even in our families we have to be careful."
These new measures come as Italy recorded another 3,678 COVID-19 cases and 31 deaths on Wednesday, meaning more than 36,000 people nationwide have now died from the illness.
It also has the second-highest death toll in Europe after the UK; however, it now has one of the continent's lowest infection rates per capita.
Italy has recorded 46.5 cases per 100,000 residents in the last fortnight, which can be compared to the Czech Republic's 327 cases per 100,000 people.
Spain has 302, France 248 and Belgium 233 per 100,000.
Despite this data, a nine-week rise in infections has prompted the Italian government to act now to avoid the possibility of future shutdowns.