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New Taipei to allow beach swimming, snorkeling on Aug. 24

Public will also regain access to basketball courts, park pavilions, physical fitness facilities

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Swimmers jumping for joy. 

Swimmers jumping for joy.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New Taipei City on Monday (Aug. 23) announced that swimming and snorkeling at beaches will be allowed starting on Tuesday (Aug. 24).

At a press conference on Monday afternoon, New Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) announced that the "conditional opening" of water activities and supporting measures will begin on Aug. 24. Activities include "swimming in the ocean" (海泳), snorkeling, and water-related recreational activities.

According to Hou, the conditions under which water activities such as swimming in the ocean, snorkeling, scuba, and free diving will be permitted, include an appointment system, real-name registration, temperature checks, single entrance and exit point for shower rooms, and 50% reduction in crowd sizes, while groups are limited to family and friends. Before resumption of business at these venues, employees must be vaccinated or test negative for the virus on a rapid antigen test.

Subsequently, employees must be screened once every week. Business operators must provide ziplock bags for customers to store their facemasks and a storage container to keep them to enable participants to put their masks back on when they come ashore.

Instructors should wear waterproof masks or face shields when teaching or providing training for water sports. The number of people and instructors taking part in guided group water activities must be reduced by 50% of normal levels.

After each session, the owners of the venue must ensure that the area has been cleaned and equipment disinfected. If there is a confirmed case, the business must halt operations for three days to carry out extensive disinfection.

Before a business can resume operations, all employees must present proof of negative PCR test. Subsequently, employees must undergo rapid antigen screening once a week.

Hou said that the public will also be able to regain access to basketball courts, park pavilions, and physical fitness facilities. When utilizing these facilities, the people must continue to wear masks, wash their hands frequently, and maintain social distancing of 1.5 meters.

The open facilities at parks will be cleaned and disinfected twice a day. Acess to park equipment for children will be adjusted in a rotating manner in accordance with epidemic prevention regulations.