Smoking ban delayed

The smoking ban for the entire hotel and restaurant sector is in all likelihood not going to be instated on the scheduled 1st of July.

State Secretary for Public Health, Wellness and Sport, Martijn van Rijn wants to see if the ban can be introduced three months later. "Practically seen, it does now seem difficult to reach 1 July 2014", he announced Thursday.

The Socialist Party (SP) wants more clarity about the position of small cafés, where only the owner stands behind the bar. These small privately owned and operated bars still enjoyed an exception to the smoking ban in which the owner could choose whether or not to enforce it upon his clientele.

According to Van Rijn, he is ready to enforce the law. He wants to do it as quickly as possible as soon as Parliament is ready. "We are ready for it, restauranteurs and hoteliers know that this is coming. I'm going to look if I can enforce the ban as quickly as possible after Parliament has dealt with it, for example on 1 October", Van Rijn says.