UPDATE 8 p.m.: Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, Miaoli, and Keelung have also decided to maintain their ban on indoor dining until at least July 26.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Despite the central government allowing indoor dining from July 13 as one of its COVID-19 relaxation measures, several cities and counties, including Taipei, said Friday (July 9) that they would keep the ban and only allow takeout for the time being.
The Central Epidemic Command Center on Thursday (July 8) announced it would the nation’s Level 3 COVID alert to July 26. However, it would end several restrictions on July 13, including the ban on indoor dining.
While New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) said he agreed with the decision to reopen museums and nature parks, he said the prevalence of COVID cases in the city, and their unclear origins are reasons enough not to relax restrictions too quickly.
The mayor said caution should prevail as long as more vaccinations are needed, CNA reported. “Controls are the basic principle, relaxations are exceptions,” said Hou.
Later on Friday, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) announced the capital would also bar restaurants from fully reopening for indoor dining, allowing only takeout. Taichung overturned an earlier decision to follow the central government, the Liberty Times reported, while Taoyuan and Kaohsiung also confirmed they are keeping their ban on indoor dining.
Later in the day, Keelung City in the north and Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, and Miaoli County in northwest Taiwan announced they were following suit.
Fast food chains McDonald’s and TKK Fried Chicken said they would stick with a takeout policy nationwide because of the diverging local government decisions, while Mos Burger and Burger King are allowing indoor dining according to local rules.