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Taiwan to relax mask policy on Tuesday

Starting Oct. 19 people taking part in outdoor sports, or taking photos indoors and outdoors, can go maskless

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CECC head Chen Shih-chung. 

CECC head Chen Shih-chung.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced on Sunday (Oct. 17) that Level 2 restrictions will be extended until Nov. 1, but beginning Oct. 19 people taking pictures indoors or out, or taking part in outdoor sports, can go maskless — but should carry a mask.

CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that Taiwan’s COVID situation has been stable, with only three local cases reported since Oct. 1. Although Level 2 restrictions will remain in place, he said that certain mask policies will be relaxed, CNA reported.

People should still wear a mask at all times when outside, but those who engage in outdoor sports, take personal or group photos indoors or outdoors, or work in open areas such as fields, fish farms, mountain forests, and the beach for the agriculture, forestry, fishery, and animal husbandry industries.

Despite this new policy, Chen said that people who meet these stipulations should still carry a mask on them. This is in case they experience COVID symptoms or if social distancing cannot be maintained.

For indoor gatherings, including conferences, exhibitions, and wedding banquets, the maximum number of people is 80. However, if there is a social distance of at least 1.5 meters between each person, there can be more than 80 people, CNA cited Chen as saying.

Meanwhile, the maximum capacity for outdoor gatherings is 300 people, he added. Chen said that venues such as karaoke bars, dance halls, nightclubs, clubs, bars, and "barbershops" offering sexual services will stay closed for now.