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Italy announced on Sunday the closure of open-air discos and made the wearing of masks mandatory at night in public places, to stem the rebound of the coronavirus pandemic.

TheItaly will close its open-air discos and make wearing a mask is compulsory in public space at night to try to stop the resumption of the coronavirus epidemic observed in recent weeks, particularly among young people, the authorities announced on Sunday August 16.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza signed a decree effective Monday, August 17, which orders the wearing of masks between 6 p.m. (4 p.m. GMT) and 6 a.m. in public places where “group formation” takes place. The decree also suspends discos and open-air nightclubs.

The new measures will apply from Monday and at least until the beginning of September. “We can not spoil the sacrifices made for months. Our priority is the reopening of schools in September, in the best conditions of safety”, commented the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, on his Facebook account.

Doubling of cases

The first European country hard hit by the virus last winter, Italy saw the number of new cases double in the space of three weeks and the average age of patients drop below 40 years, according to data from health services. Italy recorded 479 new cases of contamination on Sunday August 16, after 629 on Saturday.

Italy, however, remains relatively untouched by the threat of resumption of the epidemic which is taking shape in several European countries.

The weekend of “Ferragosto” marked by outings in nightclubs

Rome is trying, in its own way, to stem this summer resurgence at the end of “Ferragosto”, the sacrosanct weekend of August 15. The government fears that the nightlife, which is in full swing during the “Ferragosto”, will contribute to explode the contaminations.

A standoff between government and regions over the thorny issue of nightclubs, normally crowded at this time.

Opposite, the regions were displayed divided. Calabria has ordered all dance venues to be closed. Sardinia, on the other hand, has kept everything open. Between the two, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna have stepped up inspections. Tuscany, for its part, demanded identical rules for everyone.

Closed discotheques have never been authorized to reopen, to the chagrin of a sector which employs nearly 50,000 people for 3,000 nightclubs, according to the union of night establishment managers (Silb).

Italy, the first country in Europe to be hit by the epidemic, has recorded 254,000 cases of Covid-19 and more than 35,000 deaths.

With AFP and Reuters

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