Italy is closing nightclubs and making face masks mandatory in areas close to bars as coronavirus cases rise

Monday, 17th August 2020, 10:51 am
Updated Monday, 17th August 2020, 10:54 am
Nightclubs will be shut once again, and face masks will be made compulsory in some spaces, after data showed new cases of coronavirus in the past week had more than doubled compared with three weeks ago (Photo: TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)

Italy is tightening its lockdown restrictions as cases of coronavirus infections begin to creep up.

Nightclubs will be shut once again, and face masks will be made compulsory in some spaces, after data showed new cases of coronavirus in the past week had more than doubled compared with three weeks ago.

When will restrictions come into effect?

Restrictions will come into effect from Monday 17 August, and will remain in place until early September.

Face masks will be mandatory in areas close to bars or other areas where gatherings of people are most likely, between 6pm and 6am.

On Facebook, Italy’s health minister, Roberto Speranza, said, “We cannot nullify the sacrifices made in past months. Our priority must be that of opening schools in September, in full safety.”

Mr Speranza also urged young people to be cautious, due to the risk of passing coronavirus onto both their parents and grandparents and causing them “real damage.”

Nightclubs calling for support

Medical experts have blamed nightlife, the return of holidaymakers, and younger generations for the new spike in infections of the virus, but until now, the government had kept clubs open despite concerns over social both distancing not being adhered to and face masks not being worn inside venues.

Italy’s nightlife industry has now called for support from the government over the second round of closures.

Alongside the closure of nightclubs and new face mask rules, the health minister also issued an order last week which requires those arriving in Italy from Croatia, Greece, Malta to be tested for the virus. Those travelling from those four countries have either the option of being tested immediately upon arrival in Italy, or within 48 hours at local public health offices close where they are staying.

Travel subject to entry restrictions

Those travelling to Italy from the UK are also subject to entry restrictions.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice explains:

  • Entry to Italy from the UK is permitted - you no longer have to justify your reason for travelling
  • Entry to the country is still forbidden for visitors who have stayed in or transited through a small number of listed countries in the 14 days before arrival
  • You should complete a self-declaration form before you travel to Italy