Taliban officials have barred men and women in the western Afghan city of Herat, from dining together and attending parks at the same time, according to an official.

Herat is considered a liberal city in comparison to other cities of the country.

Riazullah Seerat, a Taliban official at the Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Herat, said authorities “have instructed that men and women be segregated in restaurants”.

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He told AFP that owners have been verbally warned that the rule applies “even if they are husband and wife”. One Afghan woman who did not wish to be identified said the manager told her and her husband to sit separately at a Herat restaurant on Wednesday.

Driving instructors in Herat have been told to stop granting licenses to female drivers. Women have been prohibited from traveling alone across the country, and officials have instructed women to cover up completely in public, preferably with a burqa.