Scrapping face masks on public transit will affect vulnerable people, Health Min. says
There are some major drawbacks to scrapping the coronavirus rule that people have to wear a face mask when using public transport, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said on Friday in response NS director Marjan Rintel calling for that to happen earlier this week, NOS reports.
According to De Jonge, scrapping the face mask rule will make many people feel extra vulnerable on the train, bus or tram, especially once people are squashed "like herring in a barrel" into these vehicles again. "And then I think that people with a weak immune response - who were vaccinated but for whom it may not work so well - will not be happy about being stuck up against someone aerosolizing in their neck all the time," he said.
And having only vulnerable people wearing face masks is also no a solution, De Jonge said. "Of course it protects better if those who could infect you are also wearing one," he said. "And I think that, for example, NS should also take this into account."
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and De Jonge will hold another coronavirus pres conference. De Jonge said that the cabinet will carefully consider the face masks rule before making any decisions about it. "Because this means a lot for people with vulnerable health, who like to travel by public transport and are sometimes really dependent on it. Let's not lose sight of that group."