As Quebec bans religious face coverings, where else in the world has done the same?


In what is believed to be the first new law of its kind in North America, the Canadian province of Quebec has passed a sweeping ban on face coverings, barring public workers from wearing the niqab or burqa and obliging citizens to unveil when using public transport or receiving government services.

Critics say that the legislation, adopted this week after two years of campaigning by the province's Liberal government, deliberately targets Muslim women and will escalate the province's ongoing debate on identity, religion and tolerance.

But where else have face coverings been banned around the world?


France was the first European country to ban the burqa in public. The move towards a ban started in 2004, with a clampdown on students in state-run schools displaying any form of religious symbol.

However, in April 2011, the government went further by bringing in a total public ban on full-face veils.


Also in 2011, Belgium banned the wearing of partial or total face veils in public.


Last November, the Dutch parliament approved a partial ban on face veils in some public places including schools, hospitals, government buildings and on public transport.


Also in 2016, a ban on the wearing of face-covering Islamic clothing in public was adopted by the Bulgarian parliament.


The same ban was passed by the Latvian parliament last year.


A ban on face-covering Islamic clothing were adopted by the Austrian parliament earlier this year.


Also earlier this year, a ban on face-covering clothing for soldiers and state workers during work was approved by the German parliament.


There is speculation that Switzerland could become the latest country to ban facial coverings after a group of activists known as 'Yes to a Mask Ban' last month collected more than the 100,000 signatures required to put the proposal to a national vote by 2020 under the Swiss system.