Burka ban comes into effect in the Netherlands next month

Burka ban comes into effect in the Netherlands next month

As of next month, August 1, the so-called burka ban comes into effect in the Netherlands. Those wearing clothing that covers the face in public buildings, hospitals, public transport and schools could face a fine of 150 euros.

What precisely is banned?

Clothing which covers the face includes anything from balaclavas to burkas and full-faced helmets. It is specifically clothing which makes somebody unrecognisable, as either the whole face is covered or only the eyes are visible. Wearing such clothing in public spaces like hospitals, schools, public transport or government buildings will result in you first being asked to remove it or leave the location. If necessary, the police may be brought in and a fine will be issued.

The fine is set at 150 euros but may be higher is someone refuses to leave the space. The Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) also points out that the fine can run up if other criminal offences take place, such as violation of the identification requirement.

Exceptions to the ban

The law, which is officially the “partial ban on face-covering clothing”, is just that: partial. It, therefore, has exceptions. Such clothing is allowed if it is necessary to protect the face and body during sports, for example a mask when fencing, or in a professional context, like a safety mask for a welder.

Additionally, clothing which covers the face is allowed in public if a certain event or party calls for it (think masks during a Sinterklaas celebration at school or a bride’s veil during a wedding at city hall). Moreover, the ban does not apply to clients, patients or visitors to long-term care institutions such as retirement homes. This is considered the private domain of clients or patients. For those wondering, headscarves, face paint and caps do not fall under the ban.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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IrishRover 07:45 | 12 August 2019

Full face helmets? Think you need to reword that one.. I maybe a Expat but not going to ride without a full face hel. ET. Thanks

minasolanki 09:24 | 12 August 2019

Hi IrishRover, the ban is only one public spaces like hospitals, schools and government buildings. You must ride your motor vehicle with a helmet but can't go into a school wearing it, for example.

Srinivasa 13:32 | 11 October 2019

There is nothing wrong in banning burka ban in public. In the name of religion, there are misuse the freedom. The freedom which they want and proclaim as their birth right, should understand the need for others to have freedom. The freedom is not one way. The freedom of mine should not interfere with the security of other citizens, in the light of terror, terrorism and terrorists, pose threat to the globe in general.