Spanish region bans smoking amidst the pandemic
The Spanish region of Galicia has with immediate effect banned smoking in public places over concerns it escalate the risk of Covid-19 contraction.
Galicia’s smoking ban was announced in a press conference on Wednesday after experts recommended the measure to the regional government.
The move is supported by health ministry research, published last month, that outlined the link between smoking and the increased spread of coronavirus.
It said the risk was heightened due to smokers not wearing masks. It also said people project droplets when they exhale smoke, and risk infection by touching the cigarette before bringing it to their mouth.
Region of Galicia has issued a blanket ban on smoking in the street and in public places, such as restaurants and bars, if social distancing is not possible.
The north-western region is the first to introduce such a measure, although others are considering following suit.
It comes as Spain faces the worst infection rate in western Europe.
Daily cases have risen from fewer than 150 in June to more than 1,500 throughout August. It recorded 1,690 new cases in the latest daily count on Wednesday, bringing the country’s total to almost 330,000.