OVIEDO, Spain

The region of Catalonia will make masks mandatory in all public spaces, the regional president said on Wednesday, as cases continue to climb in the region.

Spain currently has a nationwide rule on wearing masks, but they are only obligatory on public transport. In all other situations, masks are not mandatory if people can stay 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) apart.

But starting on Thursday, everyone will need to use face masks in all public spaces in Catalonia or risk a €100 ($113) fine.

Exceptions will be made for exercise or “activities not compatible with wearing a mask,” said Catalan Health Minister Alba Verges at a news conference.

The news came as Spain’s Health Ministry confirmed 383 more COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. That is up slightly from Tuesday and mainly the result of some 67 active outbreaks. It also registered seven more deaths from the virus, bringing the total to 28,396.

The most new cases detected on Tuesday (60) were in Aragon, where four municipalities are currently under stricter lockdown measures than the rest of the country.

The second most, 52, were found in Catalonia, where the county of Segria has been isolated from the rest of the region to contain the virus’s spread.

Local health officials are calling for volunteer doctors to go to the region and local hospitals, quickly filling up with COVID-19 patients, have begun to transfer patients to other parts of Catalonia.

Two other worrying outbreaks are occurring in the Basque Country and Galicia, where one coastal area has also been placed under confinement. Both regions are set to hold regional elections on Sunday.

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