In the weekly ‘follow-up’ section we present a sequel to last week’s best-read article here on Innovation Origins. It had been in the works for a while, but this week was the first week that people are legally required to wear a non-medical face mask on public transport in the Netherlands. Which is why we are reviewing the guidelines for face masks.

Unlike in medical care, there is no European standard for non-medical face masks. They do not need to undergo testing or have a certification label. As a result, Belgians and Germans are allowed to tie a scarf across their nose and mouth on the train, whereas Dutch passengers could be fined for this.

In order to offer more clarity to passengers, the Stichting Koninklijk Nederlands Normalisatie Instituut ((NEN, the Royal Dutch Standardization Institute Foundation) has drawn up a document with recommendations, the so-called NEN spec. This states how people can make their own non-medical mask, use it safely, and care for it. The document also presents recommendations to manufacturers. This NEN-spec has been drawn up in cooperation with various market parties and experts.

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About the author

Author profile picture Milan Lenters is a writer and editor. Through IO, he got to know his native city Eindhoven in a different way and sometimes looks with amazement at the many stories that lie ahead.