Masks compulsory in Spain from Thursday. | Juan Carlos Cardenas

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From this Thursday, face masks will be mandatory in enclosed spaces and on the street where two metre social distancing cannot be guaranteed.

The rule applies to anyone over six years old and is also recommended for children aged 3 to 5 according to the Ministry of Health order which was published in the Official State Gazette, BOE, on Wednesday.

People with breathing difficulties that could be aggravated by wearing a mask and those who are contraindicated for health or disability reasons, are exempt from the ruling.

People won't have to wear masks when they are eating and drinking or in circumstances in which there is a cause of force majeure or situation of need.

Masks of any type can be worn, but should be hygienic and cover the nose and mouth.

The Ministry of Health says the mandatory use of masks is justified, because they help to prevent the spread of coronavirus by blocking infected droplets, which “is very important when not it is possible to keep a safe distance."