Urgent advice to wear masks in public spaces in the Brabant-Southeast region


John Jorritsma (archive photo)

John Jorritsma, chairman of the Brabant-Southeast Safety Region, is going to call on the retail trade in his region ‘seriously and urgently’ to impose a masking obligation for staff and customers. In doing so, he follows the guidelines announced by the cabinet on Monday evening for the regions of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague where the corona virus is peaking.

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Frits van Otterdijk

Last week, Jorritsma already argued for mandatory masking in supermarkets, garden centers and other retailers. “From a scientific angle, there is no convincing evidence that face masks make a difference, but it is certainly valuable for imaging.”

According to him, people become more aware of the presence of the virus by seeing the mouth caps. Jorritsma therefore advocates a ‘stringent door policy’ in the retail trade, working with, among others, the Gooi- en Vechtstreek, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague region.

Catering, museums and government buildings
The advice is probably not limited to retailers. For example, mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam wants everyone in her region to wear a mask in all publicly accessible indoor spaces. She gave that urgent advice on Monday evening during a press meeting at the city hall in Amsterdam. She said that this will also apply in the regions of Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Haaglanden and Brabant-Southeast.

In doing so, these regions go a step further than the government’s advice that calls for masks to be worn in shops. The advice also applies, for example, to catering establishments, museums, libraries and government buildings.

The security regions warn of the ‘enormous pressure’ on healthcare. According to the chairmen, it is now hardly possible to trace where someone has been infected from source and contact research. While the number of hospital admissions has doubled within a week.

Window times
“These are tough measures, but they are necessary in these difficult times”, says Jorritsma. That is why he also supports the window times that the cabinet has announced for vulnerable groups. This makes it possible for the elderly and people with health problems to shop separately at set times.

Jorritsma says he will not use the emergency ordinance to implement regional measures. “I am in favor of generic policy and do not want to apply specific rules. It is much better to create clarity.”

Jorritsma calls the early closing time to ten o’clock in the evening for the catering industry ‘a disaster’. As chairman of the South-East Brabant security region and as mayor of Eindhoven, he has a lot of respect for the hospitality industry. “They have made an incredible effort to comply with the corona rules. This is extremely painful.”

Football without an audience
That public is banned from football matches, both paid and amateurs, also hurts him. “I spoke with PSV director Toon Gerbrands on Monday afternoon. He took the decision bravely and sporty: ‘It is no different.’

READ ALSO: ‘KNVB: shut down competition for three weeks’, chairman VV Oosterhout not happy with banning the public

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