In Amsterdam, the mask obligation will apply to the Wallengebied, an area in the city center that includes the Red Light District, on shopping streets Kalverstraat and Nieuwendijk, and at the markets on Plein '40-'45 and Albert Cuypstraat from Wednesday. This may be expanded in the future. Shops in these areas will be given posters regarding the mask obligation to put up in their stores. And during busy weekends, extra hosts will be on site to remind people to wear masks and hand out free masks to those who don't have one.
In Rotterdam, the mask obligation applies to shopping areas in the city center, including Lijnbaan, Meent, Nieuwe Binnenwegplein and Coolsingel, at the markets in Delfshaven, Afrikaanderwijk, and Binnerotte, and the roofed shopping centers Alexandrium and Zuidplein. The measure applies from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. For the markets, the mask obligation only applies on market days. City officials will be handing out free non-medical masks at these locations on Wednesday.
People who do not wear a mask in the applicable areas can be asked to leave, or may be fined. The mask obligations do not apply to places like gyms, restaurants and museums, as national measures already apply in these places aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
Both municipalities stressed that the mask obligation comes on top of - and not instead of - measures already in place, such as social distancing and the instruction to avoid crowds.
Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam and chairman of Veiligheidsregio Rotterdam-Rijnmond, is pleased with this experiment. "In my view, masks can increase the urgency in some places, in adition to the golden rule of keeping 1.5 meters apart, hygiene measures and enforcement. We are ready to start the experiment and hope it helps people to stay safe in the city and keep enough distance from each other."