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Taiwan will not make major changes to COVID alert until 60% vaccinated

COVID guidelines to be adjusted Sept. 7 to allow more train passengers over Mid-Autumn Festival

Taiwan will not make major changes to COVID alert until 60% vaccinated

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Monday (Aug. 30) that it will not lower its Level 2 alert until at least 60% of the population is vaccinated, but it will allow for greater train passenger volume during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival.

As Taiwan's Level 2 alert is scheduled to last until Sept. 6, the media on Monday asked Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) whether COVID regulations would be loosened. In response, Chen said that there are no plans to make significant changes until the vaccination rate is much higher

However, in order to cope with the large number of people wishing to travel during the holiday, which will run from Sept. 18-21, Chen will authorize Taiwan High-speed Rail (THSR) and the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to increase the number of passengers on trains.

Although the country saw three days with zero COVID cases last week, that number rose again over the weekend, with 13 infections reported Sunday (Aug. 29). Therefore, the Level 2 alert is still likely to stay in place until Sept. 6 and beyond.

Chen said that minor adjustments to epidemic prevention guidelines are possible in the coming weeks, such as opening shower rooms to people swimming or playing sports. As for major changes to the epidemic alert level, Chen said substantial alterations will probably not be considered until enough of the population has been vaccinated to approach herd immunity.

According to the latest statistics on vaccine registrations, as of 1 p.m. on Aug. 30, 12,966,547 people had selected their vaccine(s) of choice. Of these registrations, 3,227,848 have listed the Pfizer-BioNTech jab as their preferred vaccine.