Dutch BOA’s not prepared for handing out face mask fines this week

From yesterday, a mandate has been in place to wear face masks in public spaces around the Netherlands. While police are ready to fine those caught without one, BOA’s will not be ready for another week or more.

Despite months of warnings that the mandate would be implemented yesterday, somehow administrative procedures are not in order yet for municipal enforcement officers (BOA’s) to distribute mask fines, reports NU.

Ruud Kuin, chairman of the Dutch BOA Bond, explained on Tuesday that “every fine has a so-called fact code and that is not yet finished administratively for this fine.”

According to Kuin, it could take anywhere between one and two weeks for the BOA’s to be ready, but this will differ per region and city. Wonderful.

“A bit awkward”

BOA’s had not planned to be able to distribute fines by Tuesday, since the police will be initiating the fine system first. But Kuin does admit that the delay for BOA’s “comes across as a bit awkward”, especially since this will put more pressure on retailers to manage customers without masks.

Pressure on shopkeepers

Kuin says that already about 90% of people are wearing face masks, and that it is a good thing for people to keep each other accountable. “That seems like a very desirable situation to me.”

Hubert Bruls, chairman of the Security Council, didn’t seem concerned about the BOA’s delay either, arguing that in principle it is up to the shopkeepers to enforce the mask mandate. Sure, because what can go wrong there?

The mayor of Nijmegen similarly says that police should only be called in if retail employees are unable to convince someone without a mask to leave the store.

However, retailers have already indicated that they will not be fighting with customers over the mask mandate, as they do not want to put their employees in potentially violent situations.

What do you think of the boas delay? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature Image: Sanderflight/Wikimedia Commons/CC4.0

Emily Burger
Emily Burger
Emily grew up in South Africa but has also lived in Egypt, the UK, Canada and now the Netherlands. She first came here for her Bachelors in Arts and Culture at Maastricht University and soon fell in love with the land of canals, clogs and cheese. When she's not daydreaming about sci-fi movies or countries yet to explore, you can find her writing for DutchReview.


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