Infected people can spread the virus when they cough or sneeze, but also when they talk, sing or breathe heavily.
The WHO said: “These liquid particles are different sizes, ranging from larger ‘respiratory droplets’ to smaller ‘aerosols’.”
People are particularly at risk of infection in “indoor, crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces”.
The Florida researchers believe their new research offers important insight into safeguarding people in indoor environments.
Michael Kinzel, an assistant professor in UCF’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said: “The study finds that aerosol transmission routes do not display a need for six feet social distancing when masks are mandated.