The Dutch prime minister says the government has drawn up legislation to ban face-covering veils such as the burqa worn by some Muslim women.
Mark Rutte says the proposed ban will be sent to the government's legal advisory body, the Council of State, before lawmakers vote on it, a process likely to take months.
The government said in a statement Friday that the ban aims at "protecting the character and customs of public life in the Netherlands."
If, as expected, parliament approves the ban, the Netherlands will follow in the footsteps of European neighbors France and Belgium in outlawing face-covering veils.
While Islamic headscarves are an increasingly common sight on Dutch streets, only a very small number of women wear burqas.