Italy, nationwide mask mandate

 ROME – As Italy prepares for a second wave of COVID-19 infections it has made it obligatory to wear face masks outdoors nationwide, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

 The mask mandate applies to all outdoor spaces when coming into contact with people from another household.

  “We have to make an extra effort because masks must be used in any situation where there is a chance of people meeting who do not live together,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in parliament today.

 There are exemptions for children under the age of six, those who play sport and people suffering from health conditions.

 The cabinet also gave the green light to extend the state of emergency for Coronavirus to Jan. 31.

 The anti-Covid rules in force since the pandemic began remain – physical distancing of at least one metre; the banning of gatherings; compliance with hand hygiene measures; and the obligation to stay home with a body temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher.