On Thursday evening, the cabinet again asked the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) to provide advice on the effect of wearing mouth masks in addition to the other applicable corona measures. That said minister Ferd Grapperhaus (Justice and Security) Friday afternoon after consultation with Hubert Bruls, chairman of the Security Council.
The OMT previously recommended that only face masks be required in areas where the 1.5 meter rule cannot be used, such as in public transport or airplanes.
Now that it has become clear on Tuesday that the number of corona infections has doubled in one week, various mayors, including Femke Halsema (Amsterdam) and Ahmed Aboutaleb (Rotterdam), also called for mandatory masks in other places.
In a letter, four health experts called on the cabinet to take additional measures within three days, such as a mouth mask obligation in the catering industry and for contact professions.
The Cabinet does not yet see anything in this respect and if the OMT does advise that mouth mask obligation, this is in addition to the measures already in force.
“The main rules remain: keep a distance of 1.5 meters, think about hygiene, stay at home if you have complaints and avoid crowds. That will remain in full force and there will be no other things to replace it,” said Grapperhaus.
Regions can introduce mask masks themselves
According to Grapperhaus and Bruls, mayors have the legal option to make the wearing of masks mandatory at certain locations in a region.
The Cabinet will also look at how communication about the corona measures can be improved for certain groups or in certain regions.
In addition, the cabinet will consult whether the quarantine measures for Dutch nationals who have been on holiday abroad are strict enough. The government will do this at the request of the 25 security regions.