A group of young adults made fun of police who asked them to wear masks while near the Trevi Fountain, according to the Corriere della Sera, but while most of the group put on face masks to avoid fines, a 29-year-old man refused and was handed a fine of €400.
He reportedly told police: “I'm not putting on protection because Covid doesn't exist.”
Around ten fines for refusing to wear a mask have been handed out each day since they were introduced, but the Trevi Fountain incident was the first under a new rule making the face coverings compulsory in all public places at nighttime. According to RomaToday, another man was later fined for the same reason in the San Lorenzo district.
Since mid-August, Italy has mandated the wearing of face masks in “all spaces open to the public”, if social distancing is not possible, between 6pm and 6am.
Italy has also imposed a three-week closure of all dance venues following a rise in cases thought to be partly linked to the nightlife sector.
And starting last weekend, Rome police have stepped up patrols in central areas of Rome, especially those where streets and squares are small and easily crowded.
In addition to these new rules, face masks remain compulsory in Italy in enclosed public spaces such as shops, restaurants or public transport. The only exceptions are children under 6 or people with a disability that makes it impossible.
Those rules will apply until at least September 7th, when the government will decide whether to extend them again.