Coronavirus: Italy toughens mask rules, closes nightclubs after scientists warn cases are on the rise World News

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Wearing a face mask is to become mandatory in public places in Italy at night time and nightclubs have been ordered to close due to a spike in coronavirus cases, according to reports.

Masks should be worn where social distancing is not possible between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., while the closure of nightclubs and dance halls also applies to outdoor places where people dance, such as beaches and common areas. hotels.

Economic support will be provided to all sites that are due to close, the government said.

The decisions were taken at an urgent meeting of ministers and local officials this afternoon after 479 new infections and four deaths from COVID-19 were reported across the country, Sky News Italia and Corriere della said Serra.

Several of the new cases in recent weeks have reportedly been linked to nightclubs.

The ministers also said the increase in cases across Europe had helped them make the decision to impose further restrictions.

Travelers arriving at Rome Fiumicino Airport from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain are currently being tested for the coronavirus on Sunday, as many cases are brought into Italy from abroad.

Passengers can get tested at the airport immediately or within 48 hours of arrival at local public health services closer to their home or destination in Italy.

On Saturday, the daily number of new infections surpassed 600 for the first time since May.

Alessio D’Amato, health commissioner for Lazio, the region including Rome, said concern was growing over the growing number of infections, especially as schools return to Italy on September 14 for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Nightclub managers protest sudden restrictions, Silb, the Italian union of dance clubs, saying closing nightclubs puts “4 billion euros in turnover at risk” and will only encourage illegal raves.

Pierpaolo Paradiso, manager of Praja nightclub in Gallipoli, told Sky New Italia: “We have become the scapegoat for infections in Italy although no contagion has been reported at any nightclub.

“Our employees will not be able to reach the days necessary to be unemployed. In addition, I do not see the same total closure measures for bars, restaurants and beaches.

“We only see the darkness in front of us, I hope they remember having put a sector on the sidewalk. ”

France has notified 3,105 new cases in the past 24 hours and one death, while 263 clusters of cases are under investigation.

The Greek government has ordered bars, restaurants and cafes in several areas to close between midnight and 7 a.m. after the number of cases increased in early August.

The country had managed to keep cases relatively low, with 3,112 confirmed cases and 183 deaths as of mid-June, but that rose to 6,858 and 226 deaths on Saturday.

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