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Covid-19 in Italy: €1,000 fine for not wearing mask in public

Italy extends covid-19 state of emergency until 2021.

The Italian government has approved new measures to combat the spread of covid-19, as well as extending a state of emergency until 31 January 2021, amid a steady rise in coronavirus cases over the last two months.

The new order centres om the nationwide obligation to wear a protective face mask in public, including outdoors "when in proximity to others not from the same household".

The mask-wearing rules, in force until at least 15 October, also apply to all enclosed spaces - understood to include the workplace - with the exception of the home.

Carrying a mask at all times becomes mandatory although the obligation to wear masks outdoors does not apply to those in "isolated" places, such as in the countryside, in the company of people they live with, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

Those who refuse to wear a mask may be fined between €400 and €1,000, while businesses that fail to enforce the rules on their premises also risk fines of up to €1,000 as well as being closed down for up to 30 days.

In addition the government is making swab testing mandatory for people arriving in Italy from Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK as is currently the case for those coming to Italy from Croatia, Greece, Malta, Spain and seven areas of France including Paris.

Italy's current state of emergency, which was due to expire on 15 October, grants special powers to national and regional authorities in tackling the fallout from the covid-19 crisis quickly, cutting through red tape to implement, modify or revoke emergency measures if and when required.

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