In more and more countries where Dutch people like to go on vacation, wearing a mask in public spaces is mandatory. NU.nl lists the mouth mask rules of popular holiday destinations.
Since 11 July, it has been mandatory in Belgium to wear a face mask in all covered areas where many people gather. These include places of worship, concert and theater halls, libraries, large lecture halls and conference halls.
The obligation came unexpectedly last week, because it would first be discussed in the National Security Council. After an official recommendation from the Superior Health Council, the Belgian RIVM, the government has decided to speed up the obligation.
In Belgium, wearing a face mask was already mandatory on public transport and during a hairdresser’s or doctor’s visit.
In public transport and in other places where it is not possible to keep a distance of 2 meters, a face mask must be worn in Spain.
In recent weeks, there have been several minor COVID-19 outbreaks in Spain, which may lead to stricter rules at local or regional level. For example, wearing a face mask is mandatory throughout Catalonia and the popular holiday destinations of Mallorca and Ibiza.
As of the week of July 20, France will also introduce a mouth mask obligation. It is still unclear where the measure will take effect, but it is assumed that the obligation will apply in every building that is accessible to external persons: from cafes and shops to hospitals, libraries and care homes. Wearing a mask in public transport has been mandatory in France since the beginning of May.
Health Minister Olivier Véran is concerned about the rising number of infections in Paris and a “problematic” outbreak in the department of Mayenne, in the western region of Pays de la Loire, where the number of confirmed infections has tripled since June and has risen above the national average to lay down.
A boy is sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (Photo: Pro Shots)
The government of hard-hit Italy recommends that people wear face masks everywhere. The mask is mandatory in public transport and in closed spaces. In some regions, including Lombardy, wearing a face mask is mandatory everywhere.
In Germany, face masks have long been mandatory in public transport, restaurants and shops. In restaurants, the mask is allowed to be taken off during dinner, but when a guest leaves the table, the mask is expected to be put back on. A face mask is also required during refueling in Germany.
The rules may differ per federal state in Germany. Therefore, tourists are explicitly advised to consult the website of the state or the place of residence for a holiday.
As of July 24, the British government is imposing a mask for shops and supermarkets throughout England. Such an obligation was already in force in Scotland.
According to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, scientific research increasingly shows that the mouth masks are important because they can stop aerosols. Health Minister Matt Hancock also says he wants to protect store staff and give the public a sense of security.
“I really think we should be more urgent to wear face masks where people come across others they don’t normally meet,” said Johnson, who ended up in intensive care after a coronavirus infection.
A British woman walks along the Thames with a mask. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Austria had strict rules regarding the wearing of a mask, but since a month it has been no longer mandatory to wear masks in schools, supermarkets and the catering industry. The mouth mask obligation still applies to public transport, hairdressers and health facilities such as pharmacies.
Due to a growing number of infections, the wearing of mouth masks has become mandatory again in public areas in the state of Upper Austria since 9 July.
Outdoor masks do not need to be worn in Switzerland. Wearing a face mask is only mandatory in public transport and in contact professions. Furthermore, a mouth mask is recommended when it is not possible to keep a sufficient distance from each other.
In Greece, wearing a face mask is mandatory in public transport, shops and other public indoor areas. Outdoors, wearing a mouth mask is not required anywhere. Wearing face masks in Greece is expected to be relaxed further this summer.
Holiday in your own country is extra popular this year among Dutch people. Unlike in most other countries, wearing a face mask in the Netherlands is only mandatory on public transport. “With the current rules in the Netherlands, it is not necessary to wear mouth masks in your private time,” RIVM said on its website.