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Taiwan High Speed Rail resumes non-reserved seating

Nation relaxing COVID prevention measures as cases wane

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Taiwan High Speed Rail train. (Facebook, THSR photo)

Taiwan High Speed Rail train. (Facebook, THSR photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) riders can now book non-reserved seats as the country further eases COVID-19 restrictions.

The sale of non-reserved seat tickets was halted on May 15 amid a local COVID case surge and was resumed on Monday (Oct. 18). The rail service is also boosting its capacity with more trains added per week, according to THSR.

The seats are usually available in Cars 10, 11, and 12, but they may be expanded to Car 4-8 during peak hours, the company said.

Meanwhile, eating and drinking are permitted in high speed railway stations if a social distance is observed. However, the dining ban remains on trains, except in situations deemed necessary.

The Central Epidemic Command Center has decided to maintain Level 2 restrictions until Nov. 1 but scaled back some curbs including certain mask rules. People can now engage in athletic activities and take photos outdoors without masks.

Taiwan's daily case numbers have ranged between zero and single-digit numbers since Aug. 30 as the pandemic is considered to have been brought under control. As of Oct. 18, there were 16,337 cases, including 846 deaths.