A tobacco smoking ban on Valencia region bar and restaurant terraces introduced early in the Covid pandemic looks like staying in place- at least for the time being.
The rationale for its introduction in 2020 was to combat the spread of coronavirus virus droplets through smokers coughing.
Nearly three years on, Valencian president, Ximo Puig, says the terrace smoking restriction will be maintained for now despite complaints from regional hospitality associations.
On a visit to Alicante General Hospital on Tuesday, Puig said he ‘understood’ the concerns of the hospitality sector and said talks were planned between them and the regional health ministry.
“I think there should be a relationship between both parties but we need to be aware that tobacco kills,” Puig commented.
“Great reflection is needed to reduce tobacco consumption and to protect citizens as much as possible,” he said.
“The effects of the terrace ban during the pandemic need to be analysed,“ added Puig.
Hospitality groups have argued that outdoor consumption is a different issue compared to lighting up indoors.
They also feel that emergency pandemic measures have been twisted to deal with something different, as opposed to restricting Covid-19 cases.