Netherlands adopts ‘corona law’ to give legal base to lockdown
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Dutch parliamentarians on Tuesday passed a temporary law designed to form the legal basis for the partial lockdown in the Netherlands and which paves the way for the government to make it compulsory to wear masks in enclosed public spaces.
Known as the “corona law”, the text, called for by the lower house and the Council of State, gives parliament more control over the government’s actions, which are currently being implemented through emergency regulations.
In particular, the law provides the legal basis for an obligation to wear masks in enclosed public spaces, a controversial measure recently announced by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who has so far been very sceptical about the usefulness of non-medical masks.
The law was passed on Tuesday by a large majority of the upper house after having been previously approved by the lower house. It will initially apply for three months, after which it can be extended.
Since 14 October the Netherlands has been subject to “partial lockdown”, including the closure of all bars and restaurants and a ban on the sale of alcohol after 08.00 p.m. in an attempt to curb the surge of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the last 24 hours, 10,315 people tested positive, bringing the number of officially reported cases of new coronavirus in the Netherlands to 311,889, including 7,142 deaths.