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In policy U-turn, Dutch government recommends wearing of face masks

AMSTERDAM, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte urged citizens on Wednesday to wear face masks in public places when social distancing is impossible in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 infections.

The decision reverses months of opposition to the use of masks by Rutte’s government and the Netherlands’ leading medical advisers, who had questioned their usefulness.

“What we wish to do is give the whole of the Netherlands some clear, urgent advice: from now on, wear a non-medical mouth-and-nose mask in public spaces,” Rutte said during a debate in parliament. (Reporting by Toby Sterling Editing by Gareth Jones)

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