Spanish region to ban outdoor smoking if there’s no social distancing

The northwestern Spanish region of Galicia is set to ban smoking on streets and public places if people do not observe a safe two-metre distancing, authorities said.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Galicia’s leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo said the ban will come into effect on Thursday, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The members of the region’s committee of experts on COVID-19 agree that smoking without limitation on a terrace with nearby people is a high risk of infection,” he said.

The measure would apply to “the streets or in public places where distance is not possible”, as well as “when in motion”.

Feijoo said that the ban seeks to reinforce preventative measures against the COVID-19 pandemic since smoking is a “transmitting factor”.

In July, Spain’s Public Health Commission published a document, titled “Position in relation to the consuming of tobacco and related substances during the COVID-19 pandemic”, which warned of the risk posed by smoking and vaping during the pandemic.

The Spanish Health Ministry confirmed 1,690 new coronavirus cases (excluding new cases in Madrid) in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide caseload to 329,784, while the death toll stood at 28,579.