Majority of Dutch want face masks mandatory in public
The weekly survey from political pollster Maurice de Hond showed that 55 percent of people in the Netherlands want face masks to be made mandatory within indoor public spaces. The mandate would have broad support from people across the political spectrum, except for those backing far right wing nationalist parties.
The survey was conducted after public health agency RIVM revealed that the number of positive tests for the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus had soared during the third week of July. The virus can cause respiratory illness Covid-19, which has caused over 6,100 deaths in the Netherlands and nearly 12 thousand hospitalizations.
De Hond's poll showed that 49 percent of those voting for the conservative VVD, the party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, were in favor of a strict mask rule. The coalition parties were also largely in favor of the mandate, with 63 percent of CDA voters, 58 percent of both D66 and CU voters signaling their approval.
The left wing opposition supporters also largely wanted to see the stricter face mask rule come into play. Some 64 percent of Labour (PvdA) voters were in favor, as well as 58 percent of both GroenLinks and Socialist Party (SP) backers. The party courting the elderly vote, 50Plus, showed 67 percent support, while animal rights party PvdD were level with the VVD at 49 percent.
Nationalist supporters of the FvD were less enthusiastic, with 40 percent in open to the face mask law. Those polling for the PVV showed 36 percent approval.
The percentage of undecideds was not revealed, and it was not clear how many people took part in the poll.
A separate survey of 24 thousand people by television program EenVandaag found that 67 percent of people were in favor of face masks being required in indoor spaces, with 60 percent also saying face masks help build awareness of the ongoing public health crisis.
Still, 53 percent said it would not likely improve others' participation in social distancing. The television poll also showed that just 37 percent said they supported a the government requiring people to wear a mask outdoors.