TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Health Minister and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) on Wednesday (Aug. 5) announced eight public settings where mask-wearing will be compulsory, in response to the country's increased coronavirus cases over the last few weeks.
Since late June, a few foreign nationals from Japan, Thailand, and Belgium have received a positive COVID test result after leaving Taiwan, all of them with unidentified sources of infection. Despite the fact that none of the cases' contacts have been confirmed with the virus, a growing concern has arisen from the public over potential undetected local infections.
During a CECC press conference Wednesday afternoon, Chen said the new regulations will take effect immediately, but no fines will be issued to violators for now. He expressed hope that the public will respect the regulations and continue to maintain social distancing as well as personal hygiene, reported Liberty Times.
On Monday (Aug. 3), the southern city of Tainan said it will re-enact its compulsory mask-wearing policy in all indoor spaces. Since then, both New Taipei City and Taichung City have taken similar measures and now require face masks and a real-name registration system at crowded public places, according to CNA.
Following the CECC's announcement of the new regulations, the Taipei MRT also said it will implement a stricter mask-wearing policy. It emphasized that masks will remain obligatory for all passengers, and any individuals entering the station without a mask will receive fines up to NT$15,000 (US$511).
The eight places where mask-wearing is mandatory are:
Places of worship
Medical and health facilities
Venues of entertainment (KTVs, sports centers, nightclubs, bars, amusement parks)
Cinemas and concerts
Markets (night markets, shopping malls, farmers markets)
Large social events