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Masks once again compulsory on Taipei Metro

Resurgence of imported cases spurs city government to tighten disease control measures

Taipei Metro

Taipei Metro (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei has stepped up measures to fight the coronavirus, including making masks mandatory on the Taipei Metro once more, as Taiwan sees a rise in imported cases.

Starting Thursday (Aug. 6), masks must be worn by those taking the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system or visiting Taipei City Hall, medical centers, schools, public places, or major events. This is part of a first-level response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Taipei City Government.

MRT riders who do not comply with the mask-wearing rule will be fined up to NT$15,000 (US$511). Masks are also compulsory in crowded or indoor areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Venues for major events, including Taipei Arena, will be subject to stricter disease control measures. Events hosting more than 100 people indoors or 500 outdoors cannot proceed without approval from the Department of Information and Tourism and the Department of Health.

Food stalls or eating will not be allowed at these venues, and participants will be asked to provide a form of ID. Organizers and staff must undergo two weeks of self-health monitoring before the event takes place.

In addition to wearing masks, individuals entering hospitals should present their National Health Insurance Card or another form of ID and disclose to staff their travel history, occupation, and contact history. Visitors will have their temperatures taken, and the public is discouraged from visiting patients unless absolutely necessary.

After an increase of imported coronavirus cases over the past few weeks, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Wednesday (Aug. 5) that masks are again compulsory at eight public venues. These include schools, places of worship, medical and health facilities, public transport, entertainment venues, markets, and large social events.

Taiwan has recorded 477 cases and 7 deaths as of Thursday (Aug. 6).