Taiwan Railways, High Speed Rail services to allow food from June 1

Passengers can bring their own food, but dining services have yet to be resumed

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Taiwan Railway bento box (TRA photo)

Taiwan Railway bento box (TRA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Eating and drinking will again be allowed on Taiwan’s two major rail transport services starting June 1, as the country relaxes restrictions imposed to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) and Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) announced Friday (May 29) that food and drink will be allowed on trains from June 1, but social distancing rules must be rigorously adhered to. Taiwan has gone 47 days without new local infections as of Friday, with the total caseload standing at 442.

Passengers should put their face masks back on after finishing their meals, according to the two railroad services administrations. Nevertheless, on-train dining services for TRA and THSR have yet to be resumed.

The partial lifting of food bans is part of a broader plan to ease rules the government has implemented to stem the pandemic. Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said that from June 7 on, social distancing and seating rules will be relaxed across business premises, and non-reserved seat tickets will also be made available for TRA and THSR.

TRA riders may not need to wait long to be able to purchase the extremely popular Taiwan Railways bento boxes. Made and distributed by TRA and available in train cars as well as railway stations, the boxed meals are a signature specialty in the lives of everyday Taiwanese.

TRA announced last year the bento boxes, priced between NT$60 (US$2) and NT$120 per unit, could be served as in-flight meals as soon as in 2020 in a bid to expand its business.