Face masks mandatory in public spaces from 1 December; €95 fine for non-compliance
Face masks will officially be mandatory for everyone over the age of 13 in all indoor public spaces from December 1. Those who do not comply with this rule will be fined 95 euros, according to a ministerial regulation Ministers Hugo de Jonge of Public Health, Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security, and Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs submitted to parliament on Friday.
The face mask must completely cover the nose and mouth and must be designed to prevent the spread of viruses. "It is therefore preferable to use masks that can be purchased at the drugstore or supermarket." A splash shield or face shield does not cover the nose and mouth completely and is therefore not an alternative to a face mask. The same goes for scarves and bandannas.
The obligation applies to all public indoor spaces, including shops, museums, restaurants and theaters, though people can take off their mask if they are in their fixed seat. This means masks must be worn when you arrive at a restaurant or cinema, for example, but can be taken off at your table or in your seat. You have to put the mask back on if you get up for any reason.
Face masks were already mandatory on public transport. From December 1 this will also apply at stations, airports, bus stops, and tram spots.
In all types of education, except primary education, teachers, lecturers, students and other staff must wear a mask when moving through the school building. The mask can be removed during class when everyone has a fixed seat or standing place. Gym, singing, theater, dance and certain forms of practical education are excluded from the mask obligation.
In contact businesses like hair salons, driving schools, and nail salons, both the professional and the client must wear a mask.
People who cannot wear a mask due to a disability or illness are exempted from the face mask obligation. Though the police and enforcement officers can ask someone to demonstrate that this exemption applies to them. Buildings intended for the practice of religion, like churches, mosques, temples and synagogues, are also exempted from the obligation.
Face masks are also not required during sports, acting, musical rehearsals or performances, and when giving interviews on radio and TV.
Face masks are made mandatory through a ministerial regulation, legally substantiated by the coronavirus law. It will initially apply for three months, after which extension is possible. The regulation will be withdrawn as soon as it is no longer medically necessary.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, has seven days to consider the regulation.