Covid-19: Spanish region to ban smoking on streets if there is no safety distance

FILE PHOTO A healthcare worker wearing protective gear pushes a stretcher with a patient near the emergency unit of the 12 de Octubre hospital during the coronavirus disease COVID-19 outbreak in Madrid Spain August 10 2020. REUTERSJuan Medina

A healthcare worker wearing protective gear pushes a stretcher with a patient at the 12 de Octubre hospital

MADRID, Aug 13 (NNN-Xinhua) — The northwestern Spanish region of Galicia is set to ban smoking on streets and public places if a safe distance of two meters between people can’t be observed, local authorities said on Wednesday.

At a press conference after meeting the region’s committee of experts on COVID-19, Galicia’s leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo said that the finished document will be given to the Official Gazette of Galicia and the ban will come into effect on Thursday.

“The members of the committee agree that smoking without limitation on a terrace with nearby people is a high risk of infection,” Feijoo said, adding that 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 “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 total number of cases reported in Spain to 329,784, with 28,579 deaths. — NNN-XINHUA