January 25, 2021


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Cabinet tip: Do not always take the mouthpiece on and off

Cabinet tip: Do not always take the mouthpiece on and off

Photo: ANP

The closet advises users of a mouth mask not to put it on and off every time, but to wear it continuously in places that are both outside and covered. This is evident from the clarification of the advice on mouth masks that the cabinet posted on the central government website on Friday.

Frequently putting on and taking off a mask increases the risk of infection, as the virus can be transmitted from the hands to the face or vice versa. In principle, the instructions only apply to indoor areas, visitors to theme parks, zoos, train stations and other partially covered places should, however, stop outside the mask. The same goes for buyers moving from one place to another.

It is investigating whether people with little money can get their mouth masks through the community or the food bank. The ChristenUnie had previously insisted on it. The elaboration lies with the municipalities.

The government recognizes that wearing a mouth mask, for example while exercising, is not always possible. In the gym and swimming pool, it is only recommended that staff wear the cap as much as possible.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that a national mouth mask council would apply “to all places where you cannot see the sky”. He named shops, museums, town halls, train stations, airports, parking garages and petrol stations as examples. In contact professions such as hairdressers, both the service provider and the customer must wear a mouth mask. In restaurants, cafés or concert halls, it is no longer necessary to wear a mouth mask as soon as the visitor is seated.

The advice applies to everyone aged 13 and over. These are non-medical mouth masks. Medical mouth masks are intended for healthcare use only, the government emphasizes.

Wearing a mouth mask is not mandatory for the time being. If necessary, this obligation could come anyway, said Health Minister Hugo de Jonge earlier on Friday. “But let’s do it this way first.” Legally speaking, there are some hooks and eyes to an obligation to mask. “Then you get a discussion about fundamental rights and the like, which is really a bit more difficult,” said Minister Ferd Grapperhaus (Justice).