Dutch university students won’t be urged to wear masks

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.”

Do you think masks should be worn in universities? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: Gustavo Fring/Pexels

Samantha Dixon
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.


  1. Where did Dutch Minister of Education Ingrid van Engelshoven get her caronavirus information? Students have become the primary spreaders of this virus in the US. Who is to say the same thing will not happen here in the Netherlands? She’s an educated woman; she should learn about the transmission of the virus from other countries and apply some of their experiences and findings to our society here in this country.

  2. Why are we questioning the mask wearing. What is wrong with these people. Even in normal times some people wear a mask to stop spearding a common cold. A safety measure that could help reduce the spread of this desease A Mask so easy so simple.Just wear the dam Mask. Would it help ask the White House


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