The Taliban has ordered all Afghan women to wear the all-covering burka in public.
The blue burka became a global symbol of the Taliban’s previous regime in the country from 1996 until 2001.
The decision to make it mandatory again marks an escalation of growing restrictions on women in public.
The Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice read the decree from the group’s supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada at a press conference in Kabul.
“We want our sisters to live with dignity and safety,” said Khalid Hanafi, acting minister for the ministry.
The decree says a woman’s father or closest male relative would be visited and eventually imprisoned or fired from government jobs if she did not cover her face outside the home.
It also states that if women have no important work to be done outside, it is better for them to stay at home.
“Islamic principles and Islamic ideology are more important to us than anything else,” Mr Hanafi said.
Th decree adds that the ideal face covering is the blue burka.
Shir Mohammad, an official from the vice and virtue ministry, said: “For all dignified Afghan women wearing Hajib is necessary and the best Hajib is chadori (the head-to-toe burka) which is part of our tradition and is respectful.”
Most women in Afghanistan wear a headscarf for religious reasons, but many in urban areas such as Kabul do not cover their faces.
The Taliban previously decided against reopening schools to girls above grade six (around 11 years old), going back on an earlier promise.
The international community has urged leaders to to reconsider.