Spain bans smoking in public, France considers new rules as COVID cases rise

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Paris – Spain has banned smoking in outdoor public spaces where people cannot maintain a social distance of at least six feet and nightclubs closed amid a wave of news coronavirus case. The measures follow research from the Spanish Ministry of Health that has shown an increased risk of smokers transferring the new virus to other people in the form of exhaled droplets of smoke.Galicia, in northwest Spain, was the first to issue a blanket smoking ban on streets, bars and restaurants, where social distancing was not possible. Health Minister Salvador Illa then announced that the ban was being implemented nationwide on Friday – as part of a number of new measures aimed at stemming the resurgence of the disease.

Woman smokes on restaurant terrace amid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in Las Palmas
A woman smokes outside a restaurant in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain, 13 August 2020. BORJA SUAREZ / REUTERS

The number of new COVID-19 cases confirmed daily across Spain has increased at an alarming rate. A total of 3,169 new cases were recorded on Thursday, bringing the total in the country to 329,784. In June, Spain had an average of just 150 new cases per day.

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