Face masks must be worn outside at all times in the Italian capital and the surrounding Lazio region, the local authorities said on Friday. Previously, they had to be worn in shops and cinemas.

The move follows the reporting of 2,000 new coronavirus cases in all of Italy on Thursday, the first time since April that the figure has been breached.

Rome is not the first city in Italy to impose the measure. Naples has already done so.

“Most of the cases are tied to the lack of respect in using masks and in social distancing,” Lazio’s health chief Alessio D’Amato said as he introduced the measure in Rome.

Italy was the first country in Europe to suffer large-scale infections and a high death rate, particularly among pensioners in and around Milan. It still has the second-highest death rate in Europe, behind the UK, with 36,000 deaths attributed to the virus.

FILE PHOTO: Visitors to Rome wearing masks Reuters