At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Italy, the country was among the worst-struck by the virus and had one of the highest numbers of infections as well as mortality rates. In order to control the worsening health crisis, the country adopted some of the strictest coronavirus-related policies.
From the month of March to the start of June, Italy imposed a nationwide lockdown which successfully brought down the number of new cases significantly. Within a few months, the transmission rates had decreased and the country was no longer among the areas of the world with the highest cases.
However, like all other countries, Italy saw a rise in infections soon after easing restrictions. Most of the health experts had stated that this would happen but the daily average kept on increasing day by day.
During the past few weeks, the number of new infections diagnosed per day has been more than two thousand, which can possibly pave the way for further spread of the virus and eventually the need for another economic shutdown.
In order to prevent this from happening, the cabinet and health ministry have collectively agreed and introduced a new rule of wearing masks even in outdoor public spaces, which will be imposed on the eighth of October on Thursday.
Prior to the new policy, many parts of Italy had already mandated face masks in an effort to control the rising number of cases.
In addition to wearing face coverings, other rules for controlling coronavirus spread such as time restrictions on clubs, restaurants, and bars have also been introduced before.
These strategies have been effective to a big extent as Italy still has a much lower daily average of coronavirus cases in comparison with other countries in the European continent including the UK and France.
At the same time, the country has still had a much higher death toll than other countries. Currently, Italy has the highest number of mortality rates with over thirty thousand coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic in February.
Therefore, there is still a big need to be cautious to prevent another equally deadly or deadlier wave of coronavirus that can cause an even higher number of deaths.
Wearing a face mask is one of the fundamental steps to ensure protection from the coronavirus and is recommended by all health agencies around the world including the World Health Organization.
Following the step outdoors in addition to indoor public spaces can provide extra protection and lower coronavirus transmission rates, which is why the Italian health ministry has mandated their use outdoors as well.
Along with making masks mandatory, the Italian cabinet has also announced to put the country in a ‘state of emergency’ for a longer period of time. Originally, the plan was to end the state of emergency in the month of October.
After the new policies, the state is likely to continue until the end of the month of January in the coming year or maybe further extended depending on the condition of the coronavirus pandemic in Italy.