Lawmakers in the lower house of the Dutch parliament have approved a limited ban on "face-covering clothing" -- including Islamic robes and veils such as the burqa and the niqab.
The legislation, approved on November 29 by a large majority in the 150-seat lower house, still must be approved by the upper house of parliament before it can be signed into law.
Studies suggest that only a few hundred women in the Netherlands wear face-covering niqabs or all-encompassing burqas.
But several recent Dutch governments have attempted to ban the garments following bans in European countries like France and Belgium.
The current Dutch bill does not go as far as a complete ban.
It would apply a ban on public transport, within educational institutions, in health institutions such as hospitals, and within government buildings.
The Dutch proposal is described by the government as "religion-neutral."
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters