Vatican decrees compulsory face covering outdoors

The Vatican says people must wear a face covering  when they’re outdoors in the Vatican City State to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Bishop Fernando Vérgez, Secretary General of the Governorate of Vatican City State, says face covering masks should be worn “in the open air and in all workplaces where distance cannot always be guaranteed.”

The rules also apply to extraterritorial properties in Rome which are located outside Vatican City.

“In all environments this standard must be constantly respected,”. Other recommended practises to limit the virus’s spread are strongly recommended as well, he says.

The Vatican’s new rules follow the introduction of a new ordinance in the Lazio region, which includes Rome, making face coverings mandatory outdoors.

The only exceptions are for children under the age of six, people with disabilities, and those engaged in exercise.

Fines of almost $500 for those who fail to comply.

It is possible that Pope Francis could be one of those exempted from wearing a mask.

A Vatican official says Francis finds it difficult to wear a mask that restricts his breathing as he has had part of his right lung removed.

At least 14 bishops are believed to have died from the coronavirus, which has killed more than a million people worldwide.

They include Archbishop Oscar Cruz, former president of the Philippines bishops’ conference, Brazilian Bishop Henrique Soares da Costa, and English Bishop Vincent Malone.

On Sunday, Bishop Giovanni D’Alise of Caserta, in southern Italy, became the latest Catholic bishop to die of COVID-19.


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News category: World.

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