Majority of people in the Netherlands want face masks to be mandatory
More than 50 percent of people in the Netherlands feel face masks should be made mandatory in all indoor public spaces, including restaurants and bars, shopping centres, and museums, to help curb a second wave of the coronavirus, according to a new survey.
Growing support in the Netherlands for face masks
In a weekly poll conducted by political researcher Maurice de Hond, 55 percent of the people surveyed revealed they think face masks should be made compulsory in order to help battle a second wave of the coronavirus. De Hond’s poll also revealed that most of the respondents in favour of face masks supported left-leaning political parties.
The poll showed that 49 percent of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) voters were in favour of implementing stricter face mask measures. This is notable, as Prime Minister Mark Rutte, member of the VVD, has repeatedly voiced concerns about making face masks mandatory, and has resisted public pressure to change existing guidelines.
Voters of other coalition parties also seemed in favour of a change, with 63 percent of Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) voters, and 58 percent of both D66 and ChristenUnie (CU) voters logging their approval. Furthermore, Labour (PvdA), GroenLinks, Socialist Party (SP), 50Plus, and Party for the Animals (PvdD) voters all backed a change in face mask regulations.
The effectiveness of face masks in fighting coronavirus
However, Forum for Democratie (FvD) voters were less keen on the idea, with only 40 percent in favour of a change in regulations. And, only 36 percent of voters for Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) supported the move.
The results of a separate survey, conducted by TV show EenVandaag with a total of 24.000 respondents, were announced on Friday, July 24. This survey revealed that 67 percent of people were in favour of face masks being compulsory in indoor spaces, with 60 percent saying face masks help to build awareness of the ongoing crisis. However, only 37 percent of respondents said they would support a change in governmental measures.
These results come just days after the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) announced on July 24 that there was no scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of face masks in limiting the spread of the virus. The Dutch government has asked the Outbreak Management Team to look into the effectiveness of face masks, and offer advice on whether existing national guidance should be amended.