Rotterdam giving away 80,000 washable masks to lower-income residents
The City of Rotterdam will provide tens of thousands of its lower-income residents with two washable face masks. The decision is part of the city's plan to make sure that as many people as possible have a chance to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy even in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Good face masks are expensive and everyone should have access to them," said Alderman Michiel Grauss. The ChristenUnie/SGP politician handles a portfolio of issues related to poverty and debt management on behalf of the city,
"Your health is as valuable as gold, and no insurance coverage protects you against coronavirus," Grauss said, according to broadcaster Rijnmond.
Face masks became mandatory in the Netherlands on December 1 for anyone entering a publicly-accessible indoor space. The reusable masks will be sent to the 40 thousand policyholders who signed up for the Rotterdampakket, a special insurance package from VGZ.
The extensive package is offered at a discounted rate to people who earn a gross income of about 28,300 euros annually, and in some cases the monthly premium and deductible are partially subsidized by the city, information provided by the insurer showed.
All masks will be delivered before the end of the month. The city will continue to distribute free disposable masks through the food banks in the municipality to help anyone who cannot afford a mask, and has also teamed up with Hema and Vegro to allow masks to be purchased with different assistance programs.