A heatwave hit Europe yesterday just as Madrid made wearing masks compulsory to prevent a surge in coronavirus infections.
Temperatures soared across Europe, heading above 40 Celsius in places, adding extreme heat to the health warnings of a continent already taking fresh measures to rein in a potential second wave of coronavirus infections.
The heat undoubtedly made it more difficult to wear face masks in the Spanish capital. Spain’s meteorological agency said the hot air was coming from Africa and would last until tomorrow.
In Rome, where the temperature hit 38C yesterday and was set to go to 39C today, authorities told the elderly and children not to go out in the hottest part of the day. The Swiss weather agency advised people to drink plenty of water, eat cool dishes and avoid physical exertion.
On Cyprus, the heatwave hit earlier this week, with temperatures already up in the 40s since Monday.
Back in Madrid, the uncomfortable combination of heat and face masks was driving home the importance of following health advice. “Your breath gets very warm – your glasses, there are lots of problems,” said Ana Gonzalez. “But you put it all aside when you think that it’s protection.”