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Taiwan to keep nightlife shut until vaccination coverage reaches 60%

Nightlife venue protesters in Taichung call for reopening rather than aid measures to help survive pandemic

A police inspection of a club in Miaoli County before the May shutdown. 

A police inspection of a club in Miaoli County before the May shutdown.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Nightlife venues across the country can only reopen once vaccine coverage reaches 60% for one shot, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Friday (Sept. 3).

According to official data, by Thursday (Sept. 2), 11 million vaccine doses had been administered, reaching a coverage of 42.82% for one shot, CNA reported. The CECC raised the nation’s COVID-19 alert to Level 3 in mid-May as hundreds of new local infections emerged per day.

As the numbers dwindled, Level 2 returned on July 27. Restaurants were allowed to host indoor diners, while amusement parks, museums and movie theaters reopened for business — but nightlife venues were ordered to stay closed.

The closures hit a wide range of businesses, from nightclubs and pubs to karaoke parlors, dance halls and hostess bars. A number of operators in Taichung staged a protest Friday demanding a quick reopening, describing it as more helpful than government subsidies.

The protesters promised they would maintain basic COVID prevention rules, such as measuring the temperatures of guests and staff, imposing social distancing and regularly disinfecting their premises. Personnel would also take quick PCR tests every three days, the club operators told reporters.

Central and local government officials have said that as there were still new local infections each day, it would be wiser to wait and observe how the COVID situation developed before opening up.

Updated : 2021-09-29 07:45 GMT+08:00