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  • Foto van schrijverAudrey Mezas

Why face masks are not (yet) compulsory in the Netherlands?

Just so you know, the Dutch government is working on creating a mandatory law.

There is a lot of discussion whether non-medical face masks are effective or not.

According to the Dutch RIVM (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu) a.k.a. the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, non-medical face masks help prevent infecting others to a limited extent.

The problem is that mandatory wearing of face masks is in violation of Article 10 of the Dutch Constitution which states that "Everyone has the right to respect for his/her privacy, except for restrictions to be imposed by or pursuant to the law."

This means that the wearing of a face mask, falls under a dress code which interferes with the privacy of citizens. The Dutch government must therefore prove that it is scientifically a necessary measure to wear a face mask.

The mandatory wearing of face masks is presently in violation of the Dutch Constitution.

The OMT (Outbreak Management Team) advisory panel to the RIVM, which consists of a panel of medical experts and physicians specialized in internal medicine and infectious diseases, have previously requested that everyone stay home if they have symptoms, get tested, keep their 1.5 meter distance, avoid crowds and follow the hygiene measures. This is why the OMT previously issued a general but serious recommendation to wear face masks in all public spaces.

Since implementing this request, a partial lockdown has been implemented on October 13th which somehow has not been taken seriously by everyone. The RIVM has realized that their serious request including a partial lockdown has not been enough and that Covid-19 contaminations in The Netherlands have been rising extensively.

Dutch Healthcare Minister - Deputy Prime Minister Hugo De Jonge, will discuss the implementing of a mandatory face mask (in public places) law, during the Dutch Senate meeting on October 26th and request that this item be added to the Dutch Constitution in the form of an Amendment.

If a judge rules in favor of the amendment then the new law may be in affect as soon as mid-november 2020.

A new press conference by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is planned in the week of October 26th, whereby new stricter rules are expected to be implemented.

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