Settings where face masks are mandatory

The information on this website may change following the most recent press conference, held on 25 January 2022 at 7 pm.

People aged 13 and over must wear a face mask in all indoor public spaces. This includes in shops, on public transport, and in educational institutions. You are also advised to wear a face mask in outdoor spaces where it is difficult to stay 1.5 metres apart.

Settings in which face masks are mandatory

Wearing a face mask is required by law in the following settings:

  • on public transport, such as trains, trams, buses and ferries;
  • at stations, on platforms and at bus and tram stops;
  • at airports and on planes;
  • on other commercial passenger transport, such as taxis or coaches;
  • in public indoor spaces such as supermarkets, shops and libraries;
  • indoors at sports venues: for staff and visitors while moving around and while seated. Face masks can be taken off while participating in sports;
  • when taking part in artistic and cultural activities indoors, for example during rehearsals or in music schools. The wearer may remove the face mask if it prevents them from doing the activity;
  • in contact-based industries, such as at hairdressers, massage providers and pedicurists: for both the service provider and the customer;
  • in primary schools (including special schools): for adults, when moving around the building;
  • in secondary schools (including special schools): for everyone, when moving around the building;
  • in institutions for secondary vocational education (MBO) and higher education (HBO and universities): when moving around the building and while seated or standing.

Settings in which wearing a face mask is advised

Wearing a face mask is advised in the following settings:

  • In busy outdoor places where it is difficult to stay 1.5 metres apart, for example shopping streets and markets.
  • Pupils in years 6, 7 and 8 at primary schools (including special schools): outside the classroom, for example in corridors.
  • In the workplace: for people who are unable to work from home, while moving around the building and where it is not possible to stay 1.5 metres apart.

Indoor spaces: building manager decides

In some cases, building managers can decide that you must wear a face mask in their building, even if face masks are not required there by law. They can include a face mask requirement in their house rules. Protocols have been drawn up in some sectors including for:

  • healthcare locations, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices and dental practices;
  • community centres, churches and mosques;
  • testing centres and vaccination centres run by the municipal health service (GGD).

Why face masks are mandatory

The face mask requirement is intended to help stop coronavirus from spreading. The Omicron variant is highly infectious. Wearing a medical face mask protects you and the people around you. If others wear a face mask, they are also protecting you.


If you do not wear a face mask in a place where you must wear one, such as on public transport or at the supermarket, you may be fined.

Mandatory from 13 years old

Children aged 12 and under are not required to wear a face mask by law. However, children in primary year 6 and up are encouraged to wear a face mask at school. Children also play a role in the transmission of coronavirus. That is why the face mask requirement does apply to teenagers from the age of 13.

Face masks should not be worn by children under 3.

Face masks not harmful

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that face masks are not harmful. They do not cause a lack of oxygen or carbon dioxide poisoning. Oxygen and carbon dioxide can simply pass through the face mask.

Wearing a mask may sometimes be a little uncomfortable, so you should wear one that fits you well.

Suitable face masks and materials

You are advised against using homemade or fabric face masks. Instead you should use disposable medical face masks, preferably type II or IIR. It is important that you wear your face mask correctly. It should always cover your mouth, nose and chin. 

Exemption for people with a disability or health condition

People who have a disability or health condition (visible or otherwise) that makes them unable to wear or put on a face mask are exempted from the statutory requirement to wear a face mask.