Masks remain optional in Netherlands as government waits for legislation

The discussion of mandatory masks in the Netherlands has been a heated one. Today, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge has explained in a letter to the House of Representatives just exactly how he intends to regulate the requirement of masks. 

After last night’s press conference, which introduced far stricter coronavirus measures, there has still been some confusion around face masks. It has been unclear exactly when and where people will be required to wear them, and how and when the rules will be enforced.

In Minister De Jonge’s letter, he references the COVID-19 law, which has not yet come into effect, but includes the possibility of a mask obligation. The bill for the new law was passed in the House of Representatives yesterday, however, it will be another two weeks before it comes under the scrutiny of the Senate. Therefore, we are still weeks out from any definitive mask mandates.

The intended date of the vote in the Senate is on Tuesday, October 27. If the bill is approved, De Jonge intends for the mask requirement to come into effect “the moment the bill is passed and enters into force.” He is also pushing for masks to be made available to people who are tight on income.

Until then, the cabinet’s ‘urgent advice’ stands — everyone over the age of 13 is urged to wear a mask in public indoor spaces.

What do you think of the cabinet’s plan to enforce masks? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature Image: Free-Photos/Pixabay 

Brin Andrews
Brin Andrewshttp://brinandrews.com
Brin is an avid ice cream eater from the US, calling Amsterdam home since early 2019. As a lover of mountains, life below sea level has been a bit of an adjustment, but she manages to stay afloat with long runs, wine, and frequent travel. Incidentally, these are a few of her favourite topics to write about.

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