Face masks serve a “fundamental place in prevention”— experts argue to Dutch cabinet

A group of independent experts known as the Red Team is arguing in favour of the implementation of mandatory face masks in the Netherlands. The team of experts offers their advice to the Dutch cabinet.

The group of experts have not clarified in which situations face masks should be made necessary but they have pointed to neighbouring countries rules regarding masks as an example. The group’s advice is supported by the former director of the RIVM, Roel Coutinho.

The Red Team wrote on twitter that in their expert opinions, face masks do offer some help in preventing the spread of coronavirus. “Face masks slow down the spread, ensure that people become ill less quickly and stimulate good behaviour,” the group wrote on Twitter. They also argue that the masks help prevent people who are unaware that they are infected from infecting others.

Why don’t the Netherlands use mouth masks?

The RIVM have been reluctant to introduce mandatory face masks in the Netherlands. They argue that this will lead to a false sense of security among people who meet up and could lead to less social distancing.

Face masks were briefly introduced in Amsterdam and Rotterdam however it was decided to end the experiment. There have also been many arguments surrounding a person’s legal rights, with some law experts saying the implementation of mandatory face masks is just not possible.

Will the experts be listened to?

The group wishes for their advice to be listened to as the cabinet tries to make a decision surrounding further corona measures. They are particularly concerned with the wearing of mouth masks in public spaces where it is not possible to maintain a safe 1.5 meter distance.

“This advice serves to support the decision surrounding whether or not to introduce national mandatory face mask measures: in public indoor spaces and outside when keeping a 1.5 meter distance is insufficient or not possible.”

As coronavirus cases continue to rise, much remains unknown surrounding the implementation of new measures. Whether or not these experts will be listened to, remains to be seen.

How do you feel about the implementation of face masks? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image:Mika Baumeister/ Unsplash

Sarah O'Leary
Sarah O'Leary
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.

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