Italy has recorded another major spike in coronavirus infections as the daily caseload hit 5372 infections, the highest since late March.
The Friday figure compared to 4458 on Thursday and was getting close to the all-time daily record of coronavirus infections - 6557 - reported on March 21.
The total infection count reached 343,770, while the overall death toll increased by 28, hitting 36,111, according to the tally by the Civil Protection Agency.
Until last week, Italy seemed to be doing better than most other European peers in terms of controlling a feared second wave of the coronavirus.
Daily infection numbers stayed under 2000 until October 1.
On Wednesday, the government announced a raft of virus containment measures, including the mandatory use of face masks when outdoors and the extension of a state of emergency until January 31.
More restrictions may be forthcoming with local shutdowns "where necessary" but no new country-wide lockdown is in the works, Deputy Health Minister Sandra Zampa told the Affaritaliani.it news site.
Compared to the worst days of the epidemic in March, when Italy was struggling with severe shortages of beds, ventilators and face masks, the health system is now under significantly lower stress.
On Friday, there were 387 COVID-19 patients reported in intensive care compared to a peak of more than 4000 in late March and early April.