Face-covering veils will be banned from schools, hospitals and public transport.

The Netherlands is the latest European country to ban the wearing of the burqa and niqab in public spaces.

The Dutch Upper House of Parliament has passed a law banning all face-covering clothing from schools, hospitals, public transport and government buildings. The law does not apply to public streets, however.

Breaking the law will result in a fine of about €400, or about Dhs1700, according to The Guardian.

While the law also applies to ski masks and motorcycle helmets, critics have argued the law unfairly targets Muslim women.

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According to Reuters, the Dutch government’s main advising body said the law was unnecessary, as only 200 to 400 women in The Netherlands wear a burqa or niqab, out of a population of 17 million.

Hijabs, or headscarves, are not included in the ban, as the face is still visible.

The Netherlands joins Austria, France, Belgium and Germany which have all taken action against Islamic veils in recent years. Denmark introduced its own “burqa ban” at the end of last month.

France became the first European country to ban the full-face veil from public spaces in 2011, with fines of up to €150 (Dhs640) for those caught wearing the garment.

Though the law was later appealed, in 2014 the European court of human rights upheld the ban, rejecting arguments that it violated religious freedom.

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