The Netherlands joins a number of other European nations in implementing the controversial law. A large number of people view the ban as a violation of religious freedom.
A law that prohibits clothing that “covers the face” from being worn in a variety of public spaces, such as schools, hospitals, public buildings and public transport, came into effect in the Netherlands on Thursday.
Authorities are now required to tell people to show their faces. If someone refuses, they can be denied access to public areas, and face fines of up to €150 ($167). An Islamic political party in Rotterdam said it will pay the financial penalties for anybody caught wearing the now prohibited clothing.
The ban, which will affect an estimated 150 burqa and nijab wearing women in the Netherlands, will also apply to full-face helmets and balaclavas.
Attempts to enforce the new law have already been met with disapproval as several cities as well as hospitals, public transport operators and even police said that they would not be sticking to it.
Amnesty International has said the ban is an infringement of women’s right to choose what they wear. But the European court of human rights ruled in 2014 that such bans were not in violation of the European convention on human rights.