The municipalities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam will introduce the local mouth mask obligation on Wednesday 5 August. However, no fines will be issued yet. Both cities first want to maintain ‘coaching’ and only act in excess.
The mouth mask requirement applies to specific busy places for everyone aged thirteen and older. The obligation is in addition to current corona measures, such as the one and a half meter rule.
The Public Prosecution Service informed NU.nl on Tuesday evening that no fines will yet be issued for violating the mask masks rules. “There will initially be coaching maintained by the boas and area directors. People are warned in areas where it is mandatory and asked to leave.”
Only in the event of excesses is a report drawn up. That can lead to a fine of 390 euros. If the warning has no effect, fines will be issued. The amount of the fine will be 95 euros in both cities.
In Amsterdam, wearing a face mask is mandatory in the Red Light District, the shopping streets Kalverstraat and Nieuwendijk and in the markets on Plein ’40 -’45 and Albert Cuypstraat.
In Rotterdam, this applies to the shopping areas in the center (Lijnbaan, Meent, Nieuwe Binnenweg and Coolsingel) and the markets on the Visserijplein, Afrikaanderplein and the Binnenrotte. Wearing a mask is also mandatory in the covered shopping centers Alexandrium and Zuidplein. The Keizerswaard and Binnenhof shopping centers may be added to this.
“Still in violation of the Constitution”
The municipality of Rotterdam previously said, following the example of Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, that the local mouth mask obligation is legal and that it will not be declared illegal by the court. The municipality of Amsterdam also declares that a local emergency ordinance is sufficient.
It is not known whether Rotterdam will also introduce an emergency regulation. The Rotterdam-Rijnmond Safety Region was not yet available for a response on Tuesday evening.
However, according to Jan Brouwer, professor of Law and Society at the University of Groningen, the mouth mask obligation is still illegal. “In a local emergency ordinance, it is allowed to deviate from the law, but not from the constitution.”
Mandating a piece of clothing, such as a non-medical mouth mask, is in violation of Article 10 of the Constitution (the right to privacy). Adapting this requires an amendment of the law. “The burqa ban could not be regulated at the municipal level, a national law is needed for that.”
“Whether a judge will actually prohibit the mouth mask obligation depends on the legal interpretation,” says Brouwer. “I think the chances are 90 percent that a judge will declare this illegal and 10 percent that a judge will find this prohibition reasonable.”