Norway aims to ban face-covering Muslim veils in kindergartens, schools and universities, the government said on Monday, the latest European nation to propose restrictions on wearing burqas and niqabs.
France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria have all imposed restrictions on wearing full-face veils in public places.
Norway's minority government, a coalition of the centre-right Conservatives and the populist Progress Party, said it was confident it would find opposition support for the move.
“We have every reason to believe this will be approved by parliament,” Education Minister Torbjoern Roe Isaksen said.
Norway, which will hold elections on 11 September, will be the first country in the Nordics to introduce a ban on burqas for both adults and children.
“Face-covering garment such as the niqab or burqa do not belong in Norwegian schools. The ability to communicate is a basic value,” acting Minister of Immigration and Integration, Per Sandberg, told a news conference.
Employees who insist on wearing a veil would risk losing their jobs, and students could face expulsion from university, he added.
In May, Austria’s parliament approved a burqa ban that will see women wearing full-face veils in public fined €150 (£130).
The prohibition will come into effect in October to outlaw burqas, niqabs and other clothing obstructing facial features in public places, universities, courts or on transport.