FFP2 protective mask
© Ronald Zak/Associated Press
FFP2 protective masks are compulsory in all stores, Vienna, Austria, on Monday.
More countries in Europe are moving to requiring people to use medical-grade face masks in public, while in the Netherlands, there were violent protests in several cities against a new curfew order.

The Dutch police union has warned against further unrest after law enforcers used water cannons and mounted police to break up a protest in Amsterdam that saw some people throw rocks and fireworks at police lines. Around 200 people were arrested there, while there were arrests elsewhere, including in Eindhoven, where people looted stores near the protest site and vehicles were set on fire. A new curfew began on Saturday requiring people to remain indoors after 9 p.m.

"This has nothing to do with protest," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Monday. "This is criminal violence and we will treat it as such." The Netherlands had 4,924 new cases on Sunday, and 30 deaths.

Austria, meanwhile, now requires medical-grade respirator masks on public transport and when entering stores, businesses and hospitals, among other buildings. The government sent out free supplies of the FFP2 masks to older and low-income citizens. Austria reported 29 deaths on Sunday and 1,200 new cases.

The move comes as France recommends that people switch to medical-grade masks. The government published a decree on Friday banning some kinds of home-made fabric face masks because they weren't sufficiently effective in filtering out the virus, though authorities have acknowledged it will be difficult to enforce. France reported 18,000 new cases and 172 deaths on Sunday.

In the U.K., the worst-affected country in the region, there were further signs that the pace of new infections is slowing after nationwide lockdowns were introduced. New cases fell to 30,000 on Sunday, down from highs of nearly 70,000 earlier this month, with the seven-day average of new cases falling to 36,000. The U.K recorded 610 deaths on Sunday.