Spain has agreed to close nightclubs and ban smoking in outdoor areas while keeping a safe distance from others.

The move is aimed at halting the rise of coronavirus cases, Health minister Salvador Illa said on Friday.

He also advised against meetings of more than 10 people and warned young people specifically not to gather outside to drink alcohol.

Infections have spiked in recent days, bringing the total as of Thursday to 337,334 since the pandemic began.

Earlier this year, Spain was devastated by Covid-19 and was one of the worst-hit countries in Europe during the opening months of the pandemic.

The nightclubs have been closed in Spain

But, several months on, the military has been dispatched to build field hospitals in the north-east of the country.

They are dealing with one of the highest infection rates on the continent.

Helena Legido-Quigley, a public health professor at the National University of Singapore, said: “We’re at a critical moment.”

Fortunately, the number of deaths is still low with 70 being recorded in the last seven days.

The seaside resorts will see nightclubs close

Meanwhile, local governments have already planned banning smokers from beaches at popular getaway spots from next year.

It will mean Brits who escape for summer sun in 20201 will be sunbathing on smoke-free beaches.

All five beaches in Santa Cruz will be covered by the ban.

The proposals, set to start in October, will be the first new set of rules being brought in for the island.

And it will mean fines for smokers if they are caught lighting up.

Evelyn Alonso, the councillor responsible for environment, told Spanish newspaper El Dia her department's priorities are to protect the environment and promote smoke-free spaces.