Lombardy clamps down on burqa, niqab in public offices (2)

People with helmets, face veils can be refused entry

(ANSA) - Milan, December 10 - Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni's regional executive has changed the regulations for access to local government offices and hospitals, banning entry to people whose face is covered, he said on Thursday.
    The measure could be seen as targeting people wearing Islamic dress such as the burqa and niqab, who can be refused entry, even though these clothes are not specifically mentioned.
    The new rules reflect existing national law, which forbids people from going around in public without being identifiable. Inserting them in official regional regulation will make it possible for staff to turn people away if they are wearing helmets, or clothes that cover their face.
    "We have adjusted the regulation and so now whoever is monitoring entrances can prevent people with their face covered from entering," Maroni confirmed.
    There are no estimates of how many women wear a face veil in Italy, where Islam is the second largest religion after Catholicism with around 1.2 million faithful.


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