Face masks become compulsory in all indoor public places in the Netherlands from Tuesday, and the measures will be valid for three months at least. The rules apply to everyone over the age of 13 and those caught without a face mask face a fine of €95.

Medical masks remain reserved for healthcare workers but people should ensure the masks they wear cover both nose and mouth. ‘By choice, use a mask bought a pharmacy or supermarket,’ the justice ministry instructions state.

Scarfs and plastic shields are not considered to be acceptable. In addition, from Tuesday, people who are alerted via the CoronaMelder app or a health official that they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus will be able to get a test without having symptoms.

Public spaces

Face masks have to be worn in all public indoor spaces, such as shops, museums, petrol stations, restaurants and bars (if open), theatres, cinemas and concert halls. Once people are seated at their table in the restaurant or in the theatre auditorium they can take the mask off but if they go to the toilet or leave it has to go back on.

Places of worship, such as churches, temples, synagogues and mosques, are exempt from the rule.

Face masks were already compulsory on public transport but will now have to be worn inside railway station buildings and at airports as well.

Contact professions and healthcare

Hairdressers, driving instructors and nail stylists and others in the so-called contact professions will have to wear a face mask, as will their clients. Healthcare professionals such as family doctors and physiotherapists are exempt from the rule but healthcare institutions have their own rules and both professionals and patients will have to follow those.