On 30 September, the Dutch government urged citizens to wear face masks in public spaces. The basic rules remain in effect and are essential to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus: if you have cold symptoms, stay home and get tested; stay 1.5 metres from others; avoid crowded places; and follow the hygiene measures.

Do you work in healthcare? Then take a look at this page (in Dutch) about hygiene, face masks and personal protection in healthcare.

Not all the information on our website has been updated according to the press conference on 13 October 2020. We will update our information as soon as possible.

Face masks not needed in private life

The literature* does not offer a clear consensus on the effect of wearing non-medical face masks in public spaces. It seems likely that face masks help prevent infecting others, but only to a limited extent. If everyone follows the basic rules, it is not necessary to wear a face mask. (So: stay home if you have symptoms, get tested, keep your distance, avoid crowds and follow the hygiene measures.) This is why the OMT is not issuing a general recommendation to wear face masks in public spaces. It should also be noted that the effectiveness of a non-medical face mask will depend very much on the quality of the materials, the fit on the face, and the way in which the user wears it.  RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment advises against using a vacuum cleaner bag or filter in a face mask (background document in Dutch).  
See the frequently asked questions about face masks on government.nl.

* Read more in the background document on the use of non-medical face masks covering the mouth and nose in public places (only in Dutch).

Public transport exception 

Use of a non-medical face mask is required when you travel by public transport, since it is not possible to stay far enough apart in public transport. This obligation now also applies to other transport from A to B. 

Face masks when saying good-bye at home in the event of a death

If a family member who has COVID-19 (or is suspected of having the novel coronavirus) is on their deathbed, you may want to say good-bye to them in person. In that case, you must protect yourself from catching the novel coronavirus. You must use a medical face mask that covers your mouth and nose if you cannot keep a distance of 1.5 meters in that situation. In case of physical contact, you must ensure proper hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, and then dry your hands thoroughly. Do this before you go out, when you return home, after you blow your nose, obviously before meals, and after you have used the toilet.
If a direct family member with COVID-19 has been admitted to a healthcare institution, check with the doctor to see if it is possible to say goodbye.

No need to wear gloves in public areas

Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, and then dry your hands thoroughly. Do this before you go out, when you return home, after you blow your nose, obviously before meals, and after you have used the toilet. Cough or sneeze into your elbow and touch your face as little as possible. When you do this, it is not necessary to wear gloves in public areas. Wearing gloves does not offer extra protection. Some people have to wash their hands very frequently in the context of their work, causing their hands to become painful and itchy. To protect the skin from frequent washing, it would be useful to wear disposable gloves.