That urgent advice to wear masks, where exactly does that apply?


An advice to wear such a non-medical nose mask still raises many questions, Prime Minister Rutte admitted today during the corona debate in the Lower House. On Friday, the cabinet will provide more details. This is known about it:

1. Advice, not obligation

Wearing a non-medical mouth mask is an urgent advice, not an obligation. So you cannot be fined if you do not wear a mouth mask in a store. Not shaking hands and working from home are also urgent advice. The urgent advice for wearing a non-medical mouth mask is effective immediately. Rutte does not want an obligation, also because it is very difficult to arrange legally.

2. Applies to places where you ‘cannot see the sky’

According to Rutte, the advice to wear a face mask actually applies ‘wherever you cannot see the sky’. The prime minister mentions shops, museums, town halls, stations, airports, parking garages, petrol stations. The hairdresser, beautician and other contact professions both the service provider and the customer are strongly advised to wear a nose mask. Here you will find the message on the website of the Dutch government.

In principle, the advice applies to restaurants, cafes, theaters and concert halls. The mouth mask does not have to be worn when someone is sitting, because a chair or stool can then be placed 1.5 meters away. There will be an exception for secondary schools. “Because there it already applies that the teacher must keep 1.5 meters away from the students.”

3. And what else do we know?

Rutte admitted that there are probably still many questions. This is also because the advice has only just been announced: the cabinet thought differently on Monday. Face masks in busy places were then only recommended in the three major cities, in shops or institutions that wanted them. But the House of Representatives wanted a national directive.

Rutte maintains that he does not want duty, which some opposition parties had asked for. An obligation has been in force for some time in public transport and at airports, because it is not always possible to keep 1.5 meters away there. Rutte further emphasized that the mouth mask not instead of keeping your distance. “That is absolutely not the intention.”

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