Students at universities, colleges, and MBOs will not be urgently advised to wear a mouth mask, says the Dutch Minister of Education Ingrid van Engelshoven.
The Dutch government released urgent advice on Tuesday for everyone in the Netherlands to wear face masks in public places. The announcement was a significant backtrack after months of claiming face masks weren’t necessary.
Yesterday, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Arie Slob also issued advice for secondary school students to wear face masks in busy areas, such as corridors and auditoriums, from Monday onward.
Despite these two issuances, Education Minister Van Engelshoven has said that there is “no reason” to urgently recommend using a mask in higher education locations.
Trade unions think otherwise
Education trade unions CNV Onderwijs and Algemene Onderwijsbond disagree. They think not advising older students to wear a face mask will be confusing. “Why wear a mouth mask in shops and stations and not at school”, the chairman of CNV Education De Vries said to NOS. “And why in some schools and not in others?”
Van Engelshoven says that issuing national advice for higher education institutions is unnecessary. After consulting with students, trade unions, and institutions, she believes that keeping 1.5 metres distance is possible. She says the trade unions “understood very well.”
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