ROME

Italy reported 4,458 more cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, hitting a fresh record since early April, when the country was under a strict lockdown.

The country also reported 22 more deaths in the last 24 hours, raising the overall tally to 36,083.

Campania’s hard-line governor, Vincenzo De Luca, responded to the recent spike in infections by ordering bars and restaurants to close by 11.00 p.m. He also made it mandatory to wear masks outdoors — a measure now adopted at the national level effective as of Thursday.

Earlier this week, Italy’s health minister ruled out, for now, the option of another nationwide lockdown, which would bring the country back to last spring, when a nearly total lockdown was imposed at the national level to try to contain the worst outbreak in Europe.

Minister Roberto Speranza noted that the number of new infections in Italy is still lower than other European countries like Spain, France and the UK, but the constant rise in new cases is worrying.

Speranza said the increase in new cases was linked to people meeting with friends and relatives.

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