SPAIN’S Health Ministry wants to ban smoking from all bar and restaurant terraces across the whole of the country.
Six regions including the Costa Blanca already prohibit terrace smoking because of fears of spreading the coronavirus.
The rest of Spain demands that smokers maintain a ‘safe’ two metre distance on hospitality terraces.
The ban is in operation in the Balearic Islands; the Canary Islands; Aragon; Asturias; Cantabria; and the Valencian Community.
The nationwide extension is still at the discussion stage, but the draft proposal states that the ‘measure would have the double effect of acting on smoking as a risk factor for the infection and contagion of COVID-19 together with the need to contribute to the control of its evolution in Spain.’
Some medical experts argue that with COVID being transmitted through air droplets, coughing from smokers and the exhaling of tobacco smoke could lead to people being infected close by.
The counterview is that since smoking is outdoors, the risks of any COVID contagion are remote, especially if a two metre distance is kept.
Also smokers that are prone to coughing would still have the same issue, irrespective of whether they are having a drag on a cigarette or cigar.