Government pares back niqab ban

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After months of negotiations, Norway’s conservative government coalition presented compromise restrictions on face-covering garments on Friday. A ban will apply only inside day care centers and the classrooms of educational institutions.

Education Minister Jan Tore Sanner said the national ban will make the rules “more equal and clearer” for the “few who use a burka or niqab today.” The goal to ban face coverings in educational settings is meant to promote openness and enhance learning, he said.

“Norway is an open society and we are used to see one another face-to-face,” Sanner added at a press conference Friday. “This is especially important in schools and day care centers.”

The ban in day care centers will apply to all employees during the entire work day. It will apply to both students and teachers at elementary-, middle- and high schools, but only in situations where teaching is underway.

The proposal is expected to gain majority support in Parliament, since the Labour, Center, Socialist Left and Christian Democrats have already signaled they will support the restrictions.

newsinenglish.no staff