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Masks mandatory for students in Taipei once school begins

Whether or not to allow outdoor sports hinges on central government

An elementary school in Taipei. 

An elementary school in Taipei.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Students in Taipei’s kindergarten, elementary, junior high, and senior high schools will be required to mask up when the new semester begins on Sept. 1 if the Level 2 COVID-19 curbs remain in place.

Deputy Taipei Mayor Tsai Ping-kun (蔡炳坤) announced Monday (Aug. 16) that pupils should wear masks during classes after the summer break, the longest ever due to the pandemic, ends this month. Exceptions are only allowed during meals, but with partitions installed, wrote the Liberty Times.

Flute classes will be turned into music appreciation classes or will feature demonstrations by teachers. Outdoor sports rules will be in line with the Central Epidemic Command Center's (CECC) instructions, which ban close contact sports such as basketball.

For the approximately 10% to 15% of students who opt to study at home, they will be able to attend virtual classes. A mix of physical and online courses is also being considered as the city encourages diverse and flexible teaching methods.

The Level 2 alert was originally meant to last from Aug. 9-23. The CECC has not suggested it has any plans to lower the alert level after Aug. 23, but further economic activity is expected to be allowed as long as the pandemic remains in check.