Face masks on public transport more strictly enforced

Along with a campaign to encourage Netherlands residents to make use of public transport again launching on Monday, enforcement officers are stepping up their enforcement of the rule that you have to wear a face mask on the train, bus, tram, ferry or subway. The idea is to make sure everyone follows the rules as public transport becomes more crowded, RTL Nieuws reports.

“The goal is to transport 80 percent of the normal number of passenger again by December,” Pedro peters of OV-NL, the umbrella organization for public transit companies, said to the broadcaster. “That is now on average just over half, far too little. As a result, the public transport sector will suffer a loss of almost half a billion euros this year. It is therefore well worth an investment in this campaign.”

The aim of the campaign is to fill trains and buses and other forms of public transport more, which means more people closer together and a higher chance of the coronavirus spreading. Enforcement officers will therefore be more strict in making sure everyone follows the rules and wears a mask.

“We don’t like to do that, but it cannot be the case that some travelers ignore the regulations, now that it is getting busier again in public transport,” Peters said. “Aggressive behavior will not be tolerated either.”

According to OV-NL, about a thousand fines for not wearing a mask were issued up to the end of July. Since August, that number increased to around 200 per week, with many fines issued especially during weekends.