Taiwan to implement heavier punishment for mask-less public transport passengers

Staff will insist on donning a mask, but a maximum fine of NT$15,000 could follow: Health minister

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MRT passengers on April 1. 

MRT passengers on April 1.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following demands from local governments to make the wearing of masks compulsory on public transport, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said passengers refusing to don a mask could be fined from NT$3,000 (US$99) to NT$15,000.

Earlier Friday (April 3), Taipei City Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊) insisted that passengers be refused entry in Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations and on buses if they do not wear a mask. She wants to introduce the measure on April 9, the date each city resident will be allowed to buy nine masks once every two weeks.

During the daily Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) news conference Friday, Chen said anyone boarding any form of public transport must wear a face mask to protect themselves and others against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), CNA reported.

At first, staff will persuade a maskless person to wear one, but if that fails, a fine will follow, Chen warned. There was no immediate word on when the new measure would be introduced.