TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei City plans to let bars and "tea houses" reopen in September, but there will be zero tolerance for the sex industry, officials said Friday (Aug. 6).
After the number of local COVID-19 infections surged, the central government put Taiwan under a Level 3 COVID alert from May 19 through July 26. During this time, nightclubs, karaoke parlors, hostess bars and other nightlife venues were ordered to close, though the city government has hinted that it is working on a phased reopening plan.
However, the sex industry and owners of illegal structures should not count on any mercy, officials warned. During the COVID surge, several “tea houses” were fronts for prostitution.
The city government said that activities at the 172 registered establishments, mostly in the Wanhua District, should correspond to those listed on their operating license. That would mean the old “tea houses” going back to their original function of providing tea and serving as meeting places for local residents, CNA reported.
During its review of businesses, the city found 80 illegally built structures, 14 of which still needed to be dealt with, officials said. The owners had received letters telling them to tear down the structures between Aug. 16-20.