UPDATE: Where and when do you have to wear a mask outdoors in Italy?

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UPDATE: Where and when do you have to wear a mask outdoors in Italy?
Masks are always mandatory indoors, but some parts of Italy now require them outdoors too. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

With several parts of Italy tightening the local rules on face masks, it's no longer just indoors that you might have to cover your face. (This article was updated on October 2nd)


^Note: Since this article was published, Italy has announced new rules making it mandatory to wear a mask in public at all times. See here for more details.}

Like with most things in Italy, the regulations on face masks can vary by region and even by city – and in recent days, local authorities have been responding to rising infections by adopting stricter rules.

Anywhere you go in Italy you'll have to wear a mask indoors, but in some places you'll have to start keeping it on outdoors too.

Here's a round-up of the rules.


In most of Italy: Masks indoors at all times and outdoors at night

The nationwide rule in Italy is that you have to wear a face mask at all times in any enclosed public space, including shops, restaurants, public transport and schools. You don't usually have to keep your mask on outdoors – except at night.


As coronavirus infections linked to nightlife spiked over the summer, the government made it mandatory to wear a mask outside between 6pm and 6am. The rule applies in all areas where there's a risk of crowding, like busy squares and streets lined with bars.

Police regularly patrol to enforce the rules and there are fines of up to €1,000 if you fail to comply.

The parts of Italy where you have to wear a face mask in public at all times

Masks remain mandatory outdoors in Lombardy, the northern region hid hardest by Italy's first wave, which has now been requiring people to cover their face everywhere in public for several months.

Until at least October 15th, you must wear a mask anywhere outdoors where you can't guarantee at least a metre's distance between you and anyone else.

But as new clusters threaten to break out, local authorities elsewhere have responded by toughening the rules on face masks too.

There are now eight regions in Italy where you have to wear a face mask at all times in public:
  • Lazio
  • Lombardy
  • Sicily
  • Campania 
  • Calabria
  • Marche
  • Piedmont
  • Basilicata
Some cities, including Genoa, have also enforced similar rules.
Rome and the entire Lazio region on Friday ordered that masks must be worn in public at all times after a spike in cases locally.

READ ALSO: Rome makes face masks compulsory in public at all times

The region of Campania, which continues to record some of the highest regional numbers of new cases daily, last week made masks compulsory everywhere in public 24 hours a day.

That applies indoors and outdoors, and regardless of whether you're in a crowded area or not. The rule remains in force until at least October 4th.

The neighbouring region of Calabria followed suit on Friday and made masks mandatory outdoors 24/7 until at least October 7th.

Masked pedestrians in Naples, Campania's biggest city. Photo: Carlo Hermann/AFP

Since Wednesday, masks are also required outdoors at all times in the centre of the city of Genoa.

The local authorities have designated certain streets – mainly in the old town and around the port: find a full list here – areas of elevated risk after detecting a worrying number of infections there. The requirement remains in force until October 4th.

The province of La Spezia, like Genoa in the north-west coastal region Liguria, made masks compulsory outdoors on September 11th in response to signs of a local outbreak.

The rule, which was accompanied by school closures and a ban on public gatherings, is set to expire on September 27th after case numbers began to improve.

READ ALSO: How to wear your coronavirus face mask

Shoppers wear masks in Genoa's city centre. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Latina, a province of Lazio near Rome, this week ordered people to wear masks at all times in outdoor areas where you can't maintain social distance, until at least October 15th. Failing to comply will earn you a €100 fine.

Meanwhile the city of Foggia in Puglia has ordered everyone to begin wearing masks outdoors from Friday, September 25th until further notice. The rule applies specifically to busy shopping and dining streets in the city centre: find a list here.

Weekend rules

Some cities and holiday resorts this summer put temporary rules in place ordering that masks must be worn at all times at weekends.

This is likely to happen again as case numbers are set to rise in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday September 29th, the city of Bologna announced that everyone must wear masks at all times in the city's historic centre from this weekend.

The order is effective from 6pm on Friday until midnight on Sunday, said Mayor Virginio Merola.

He added that the closure of the central Piazza San Francesco would be extended until further notice.


Are there any exceptions?

Yes: children under 6 don't have to wear a face mask, nor do people with disabilities or other health problems that makes wearing a mask impossible.

And of course, you're allowed to take your mask off to eat or drink in a restaurant, bar or café – though you'll have to put it back on to leave your table.

Some areas that require masks outdoors 24/7, including Campania, also make an exception for people exercising on their own, like solo runners.

Check your comune's website for more details about the rules where you are.


Comments (1)

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Anonymous 2020/09/30 06:41
Form today (Wednesday) now mandatory across Sicily 24/7 until the 30th of October. I don't mind ... makes me feels safer than the UK, which we left on the 26th of September to settle here...

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