Various organisations are calling on the national ministry of health and regional governments to ban smoking on bar and restaurant terraces in order to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
The National Committee for the Prevention of Smoking (CNPT) and the Federation of Community Nursing and Primary Care Associations are among the organisations which want "urgent" measures to be adopted for terraces and other public spaces because of "growing scientific evidence that Covid is transmitted through aerosols over distances greater than eight metres in both closed and open spaces".
The XQNS Citizens Initiative is another group seeking a ban. Its coordinator, Dr. Joseba Zabala, says that "it is necessary to alert the public to the fact that smoking and vaping are activities with a high risk of transmitting the virus". The rule of not smoking within two metres, implemented in most of Spain, has been "ineffective" because of generalised non-compliance. It is a rule which is "confusing" for both smokers and non-smokers.
Raquel Fernández Megina of Nofumadores.org argues that it is "essential to decree a clear measure without exceptions that doesn't confuse the public and which enables the hospitality industry to facilitate compliance with the rule". Ensuring that terraces have 100% no smoking is "an urgent measure, especially now that terraces are being enclosed and, in practice, are no longer exterior spaces".
The president of the CNPT, Andrés Zamorano, has congratulated four regional governments - the Canaries, Cantabria, Castile and León and the Balearics - for having implemented this measure. "Far from having a negative impact, this represents a commitment to health and safety for customers and workers in the hospitality and tourism sector."
The ban in the Balearics was introduced at the end of August.