IT’S official! Facemasks are now no longer compulsory on public transport. From Wednesday 8 February one of the few remaining Covid restrictions has been removed.While facemasks no longer need to be worn on trains, buses, trams and undergrounds, they are still obligatory in hospitals, health centres, care homes and pharmacies.
However, the ban on smoking in bar and restaurant terraces, which was brought in during the summer of 2020 as part of safety measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, is here to stay.
Hoteliers, speaking on Cadena Ser radio at the weekend, demanded the withdrawal of the ban on smoking on terraces at the same time as facemasks on public transport. They argue that the Health department resolution justified the ban on smoking on terraces until the percentage of people vaccinated with covid increased. This situation, the hoteliers claim, is already occurring, so it makes no sense to maintain the restriction.
However, speaking on Tuesday (7 February) president of the Valencian government, Ximo Puig, confirmed that the intention of his government is to keep this ban in place. Puig maintains that the administrations “are jointly responsible for combating diseases” such as lung cancer, and as such, they are obliged to tackle the issue of smoking. He even highlighted the benefits of the anti-smoking law, saying that health professionals have noted that consumption of tobacco has stagnated thanks to measures such as this. According to Puig, “everyone agrees: tobacco kills”.