Major Dutch retailers confirm they won’t force shoppers to wear face masks

From December 1, face masks will be mandatory in all public spaces around the Netherlands, including in shops. But although the Dutch Retail Council (RND) has confirmed that all employees will be wearing masks, they will not be fighting with customers to do the same, reports NU.

Retail chains HEMA, Albert Heijn and Kruidvat, among others, have expressed their desire to avoid violent confrontations between staff and customers.

A spokesperson for Albert Heijn said that they will not be forcefully removing customers either. “We can already see that things are going well. We have no reason to assume that it will suddenly be different from Tuesday.”

But although retail workers will not be forcing customers to wear masks, they will still be recommending it. Different chains may choose to refuse customers with no mouth masks, as HEMA has indicated they will do.

“It is mandatory for our staff and we request it from the customers,” a spokesperson for HEMA said. “The staff may talk to the people, refuse them or call someone in like a boa. We don’t want it to end in a brawl, that benefits nobody.”

Representatives of Kruidvat claim that 80-90% of their customers are already wearing face masks and that all of their staff have been doing so “from the start”. “Maybe this is the last push for that last group of customers.”

Full face shields

While retail employees will be allowed to wear the plastic full-face shields so that they don’t have to wear a face mask for eight hours, RND is urging the public to wear face masks in stores unless unavoidable. Again, they won’t be enforcing this, but they will certainly be recommending it.

In regards to Albert Hijn, customers will need to prove that they have a medical reason for not wearing a face mask. A personal shopper can also be arranged in this case.

It is unclear as to whether employees will need to wear a face mask if they are behind a plexiglass screen.

Feature Image: Anna Shvets/Pexels

Emily Burger
Emily Burgerhttps://emilycburger.wixsite.com/expression
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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