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  1. ITV Report

Denmark joins other European nations in adopting 'burqa ban'

Austria, Belgium, France and Bulgaria have similar bans. Credit: PA

Denmark has become the latest European country to ban the burqa.

In an overwhelming vote, Danish MPs chose to outlaw garments which cover the face, including Islamic veils such as the niqab.

The new measures had been proposed by the centre-right governing coalition.

However, the government has insisted the ban is not aimed at any religion in particular.

The ban does not include headscarves, turbans or the traditional Jewish skull cap.

Danish politicians voted 75-30 for the ban, with 74 abstentions. Credit: PA

The so-called burqa ban is widely seen as being directed at dress worn by conservative Muslim women.

Wearing of the burqa or niqab is, however, not common in the Nordic nation.

Justice Minister Soeren Pape Poulsen said it will be up to police officers to use their "common sense" when they see people violating the law that comes into force on August 1.

The law allows people to cover their face when there is a "recognisable purpose" like cold weather or complying with other legal requirements, such as using motorcycle helmets under Danish traffic rules.

First-time offenders risk a fine of 1,000 kroner (£120). Repeat offences could trigger fines of up to 10,000 kroner (£1,200) or a jail sentence of up to six months.

Currently, Austria, France, Belgium and Bulgaria have similar bans.