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New Italy mandate requires face masks at all times when outside, sparks protests in Rome

Protestors say the virus measures are too harsh.

Published: October 10, 2020 5:38pm

Updated: October 10, 2020 8:07pm

Protesters gathered in Rome on Saturday to show their anger over the country’s mask mandates among other continuous COVID-19 rules as infections across Italy and Europe are on the rise. 

Demonstrators expressed their frustration over harsh virus mandates that have not stopped since the beginning of the pandemic, including a new order that calls for all Italians to wear face masks while outside or else they could face a fine up to 1,000 euros ($1,200). 

"From now on, masks and protective gear have to be brought with us when we leave our house and worn. We have to wear them all the time unless we are in a situation of continuous isolation," Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.

There were two different anti-mask protests on Saturday in the city, according to AP News. The 'march for freedom' event rallied Italians together to show their government disapproval and concerns for the democracy and economy. 

There have been 350,000 confirmed cases of the virus in Italy and 36,140 deaths. Most of the recent cases in the country are asymptomatic, and are detected through increased testing.

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