TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Only a few commuters have been stopped from boarding Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) and Taiwan High-Speed Rail (THSR) trains on Thursday (April 2) for not wearing face masks.
On the first day of the Tomb Sweeping holiday, train stations were crowded with families traveling to cemeteries to pay their respects to their ancestors. According to UDN, most of the travelers had put on face masks before entering the station, and only a small number of passengers were unaware of the new mask-wearing policy.
Some of the passengers who had forgotten to wear masks were directed by station staff to nearby convenience stores, where face masks can be purchased at a slightly higher price. The temperatures of all passengers were also taken to ensure that those with temperatures of 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher did not board the trains.
On Tuesday (March 31), Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) announced that all travelers who wish to take trains and intercity buses must wear masks to prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). He emphasized that the new policy would come into effect Wednesday (April 1) and that both transit employees and commuters must strictly adhere to the guidelines.
It is expected that local governments will take similar measures and introduce mask requirements on Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines as well as on city buses over the next few days, according to CNA.
Passengers line up for temperature checks at Banqiao intercity bus station. (CNA photo)