Violence Erupts in Italian Supermarket After Argument over Masks

A brawl broke out in a supermarket in the Italian commune of Casoria this week when two men began arguing about wearing medical masks while waiting to pay for their goods.

Footage of the fight went viral across Italian social media which showed a man refusing to put on a mask while lining up to pay for items at the supermarket and getting violent after screaming at other patrons demanding he wear a protective mask to stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

When the man began slapping and punching, other patrons also became involved, with the brawl spilling out into a supermarket aisle. Eventually, employees were able to come between the persons involved and stop the violence, Il Giornale reports.

Tensions have been running high in Italy since the leftist coalition government headed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced a nationwide lockdown last month.

The incident in Casoria is not the first case of violence since the lockdown measures were enacted.

In the city of Novara, a North African migrant became violent with a 60-year-old Italian man who asked him to respect social distancing measures and became even more angered when shop employees became involved in the confrontation.

Just days later in Arezzo, a baker and her customers were also attacked by a migrant who became angered when asked to wait outside for his turn to purchase items.

“The bad news was when he started to wreak havoc. He ran his hands over the shelves and threw everything on the ground, smashing what happened to be within his range: tins, glass jars, beer bottles. An uncontrollable fury,” the baker told a local newspaper.

Italy’s neighbour Austria, meanwhile, has enacted measures to not only keep goods flowing to supermarket shelves by calling in the armed forces to aid in warehouses but recently passed new measures making wearing masks mandatory when entering a supermarket.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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