SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – A bus driver in Limburg has become the first to refuse to continue his journey after a woman wearing a niqab got on the vehicle in the town of Stein.
The driver reportedly asked the woman two times to remove her face veil or leave the bus. When she refused, he called the police. After talking to police officers, the woman decided to voluntarily leave the bus, a police spokesman told the Telegraaf.
Bus company Arriva said the driver had failed to adhere to company guidelines on dealing with people who cover their faces on public transport. The so-called burqa ban was introduced on August 1.
While drivers can ask women in a niqab to leave the bus, they should not stop the bus if the woman refuses to leave, the spokesman said. This is so as not to inconvenience other passengers and to ensure bus transport is available to everyone.
Playground Five days after the ban came into effect Nijmegen city council was forced to apologise to a woman wearing a niqab who was ordered to leave a children’s playground by workers.
The council staff insisted the woman leave, following complaints from another visitor, but were later told by the police that the ban on wearing face covering garments does not apply to playgrounds.
The ban covers government buildings, schools and colleges, hospitals and public transport.