TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's latest variant on its face mask rationing system, which enables health insurance cardholders to pre-order masks at convenience stores, got underway on Wednesday (April 22).
Beginning on Wednesday, Taiwan residents who hold National Health Insurance (NHI) cards can place pre-orders at convenience stores for their biweekly ration of nine surgical face masks. Previously, people had to wait in long lines outside of pharmacies at the designated time, go through an exceedingly complex process to pre-order, or find one of a handful of mask vending machines in Taipei.
Under the new scheme, consumers can visit one of more than 10,000 Family Mart, 7-Eleven, OK Mart, and Hi-Life convenience stores across Taiwan. The pre-orders can be placed between the hours of 8 a.m on Wednesday and 8 p.m. on Friday using self-service kiosks such as ibon, FamiPort, Life-ET, and OK‧go, reported TechNews
As shown in a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) video, the steps involved are fairly simple:
- Locate a kiosk in one of the four convenience store chains mentioned above
- Click on the top option with a logo of a white cross which reads "Epidemic Prevention War" (防疫大作戰)
- Insert NHI card
- Select nine adult masks or 10 children's masks
- Print out receipt and hand it to convenience store clerk
At the checkout counter, the masks can be paid for with cash, smartcards, or mobile payment apps. After the pre-order has been made, consumers can pick up their masks at the convenience store of their choice between April 30 and May 13.
CDC video giving step-by-step instructions on how to purchase masks via kiosks: