TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Tuesday (May 25) announced that Level 3 restrictions will be extended until June 14 as the country continues to battle an unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) stated that the current trend in new local cases has not worsened in recent days, and for that reason, he said that there is currently no plan to upgrade the epidemic warning to Level 4. However, he said that based on the current number of cases and the speed of testing, the positivity rate is still high in many areas and the dates of symptom onset and testing are spread over a wide range.
Chen said there are likely still "hidden cases" that may lead to family cluster infections or that may come in contact with outsiders. He asserted that during this period, it seems that the Level 3 measures are effective.
Therefore, based on these considerations, Chen said that the Level 3 alert cannot be lifted as originally scheduled on May 28. He cited experts as suggesting that community management cannot be relaxed and that it was decided that the epidemic warning guidelines be extended to June 14.
A Level 3 alert means that all people must wear masks at all times when venturing out, and indoor gatherings are limited to five people, while outdoor gatherings are restricted to 10. A wide spectrum of business and public venues are to be closed, with the exception of essential services, police departments, hospitals, and government buildings.
In those businesses and public institutions that remain open, crowd control, masks, and social distancing are required. Workplaces must abide by epidemic prevention requirements, implement personal and workplace hygiene management, and initiate corporate continuous operation response measures, such as remote work and flexible working hours.
Individuals who do not wear a mask when going out will face fines of between NT$3,000 (US$100) and NT$15,000 for violating the Communicable Disease Control Act. Persons who violate the ban on large gatherings and religious activities, or enter venues that are supposed to be closed, will face fines of between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000.
The following are measures that are implemented under a Level 3 alert:
- Wearing of masks at all times outdoors
- Indoor gatherings limited to five people
- All places of business and public venues are shuttered, with the exception of essential services, police departments, hospitals, and government buildings
- Masks and social distancing required at all businesses or venues that remain open
- In areas where community transmission has taken place, residents are restricted to a set perimeter and must submit to COVID-19 testing