Council members heard via press release about mouth mask obligation: “What is the role of the city council?”

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“We heard it through a press release, but we could not find anything about it,” says Don Ceder of the Amsterdam ChristenUnie about the mask in busy places in the city. Councilors believe they should not be forgotten.

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The bullet is therefore through the church: in certain areas in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, mouth caps are mandatory from Wednesday. Mayors Halsema and Aboutaleb, both also chairman of their security region, were able to decide this on the basis of the emergency ordinance. Chantal Zeegers, chairman of the D66 political group in Rotterdam, agrees with Ceder that the city council should have a greater role. “From the beginning, when Corona had just broken out, we also asked the mayor: when do we get advice as a council, even if only afterwards, to gain insight into what the considerations have been. . “

Criticism of corona law

The new corona law must close that democratic gap, but the first version of it was criticized. Zeegers: “At the time, that legislation was not good for D66, so we are happy that it was amended. Better a good law later than a bad one at the same time. At the same time, it only increases the democratic vacuum.”

The law is not expected to enter into force before 1 October, because both the House of Representatives and the Senate have yet to consider it.

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Crowds ran out

Ceder understands the decision of the security regions. “It is now just too busy in certain areas in Amsterdam. These measures send a good signal, but I sincerely wonder if this is possible, is there enough basis for this?” And he is not alone. Quite soon after the decision, criticism came from several quarters with the question whether a mouth mask obligation is legally possible. “It would be unfortunate if fines were later challenged in connection with the dental mask obligation, while it appears that there is no legal basis for that obligation.”

D66 group chairman Chantal Zeegers also has questions about the mask, but she understands Mayor Aboutaleb’s decision. “It really ran out in the center of Rotterdam and on the market. People do not stick to the 1.5 meter. Then at some point it will no longer be possible, so we understand that our mayor needs to look at new possibilities and therefore will do this 3 week experiment. ” According to the D66 group chairman, everything must be focused on preventing a lock down again. “It is a choice of different evils, so we understand, but we urge to come faster with that legislation nationwide, in order to let democracy really act again.”

Relationship between safety regions and city council

The security regions have played an important role due to the corona crisis. Ceder explains how this works. “The College of B&W is now more distant.” The safety regions have an obligation to provide information: in this way he also heard about the mask in Amsterdam yesterday. “However, we cannot hold the security region accountable.”

As a council member, the group leader can only call his own mayor to account in his own council. In this case, therefore, Halsema. “This makes the influence of the municipality small.” And he thinks that scours. There have been many discussions about this duty, but there is nothing else he can do. Ceder hopes that a local municipality will be more involved in this and that the distance between the council and the safety region will become smaller. “I am concerned about the local guarantee. Not only now, but also in the new law. If we are dealing with the temporary corona law in the coming years, there must be local guarantee for control. What is or is not desirable in our city? I hope that this discussion will be conducted. “

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Area of ​​tension

According to him, it is not new that there is a tension about this. “The question remains whether we should want this.” For example, there are suggestions for setting up an intermunicipal council. That every now and then a number of councilors meet with the security regions. This can be interesting according to Ceder, but then according to him you rig something that has not been democratically chosen.

The group chairman would welcome good and effective cooperation between the security region and the municipal councils, in which municipal councils are also given the right role to perform their monitoring task. “Especially when it comes to measures in your own municipality.”


Watch the TV report here about the partly outdated study on which RIVM decides on the mouth mask advice.

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