Nearly 150 fined in Amsterdam for not wearing a mask
Enforcement officers in Amsterdam handed out 148 fines on Sunday to people not wearing a face mask in areas where this is mandatory. About a thousand warnings were also issued. In one case, the person refused to listen and the police arrested them, a spokesperson for Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema said to AT5.
Face masks have been mandatory in parts of Amsterdam and Rotterdam since August 5. In Amsterdam, people have to wear a mask in the Red Light District, Kalverstraat, Nieuwendijk, Albert Cuypstraat, and Plein '40-'45. Both Amsterdam and Rotterdam announced that this rule will be more strictly enforced starting this past weekend.
The mayor's spokesperson said that a fine is always the last step in behavioral change. "Indicating walking directions, addressing people and handing out masks works better. We hope that fining remains remains the exception and that a warning will suffice," the spokesperson said.
The fine for not wearing a mask in Amsterdam is 95 euros. It used to be 395 euros, because the Public Prosecution Service had not given it a specific so-called fact code, so the municipality had to use the general fact code for violating social distancing and other coronavirus related rules. But during a committee meeting on Thursday, Halsema announced that a fact code had been created specifically for the mask obligation, NU.nl reports.
"That is good news. It was complicated to operate with a fine that we actually found disproportionate to the mask obligation we impose," Halsema said.