The Netherlands: Face masks mandatory from tomorrow

AMSTERDAM - From tomorrow, December 1, everyone in the Netherlands age 13 or older will have to wear a face mask in indoor public spaces, or face a fine of 95 euros. The mask must cover your nose and mouth and must be designed to prevent the spread of viruses - so a scarf or bandanna is not enough.

The obligation applies to all public indoor spaces, including shops, museums, schools, restaurants and theaters, though people can take off their mask if they are in their fixed seat. This means masks must be worn when you arrive at a restaurant or cinema, for example, but can be taken off at your table or in your seat. You have to put the mask back on if you get up for any reason. The same goes for secondary schools and higher education - you have to wear a mask except when you're in your fixed seat during class.

Face masks were already mandatory on public transport. From December 1 this will also apply at stations, airports, bus stops, and tram spots.

People who cannot wear a mask due to a disability or illness are exempted from the face mask obligation. Though the police and enforcement officers can ask someone to demonstrate that this exemption applies to them. Buildings intended for the practice of religion, like churches, mosques, temples and synagogues, are also exempted from the obligation.

Face masks are also not required during sports, acting, musical rehearsals or performances, and when giving interviews on radio and TV.

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