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Taiwan considers loosening COVID restrictions Nov. 2

Scale of changes still needs to be considered, says Central Epidemic Command Center

The CECC is considering a further loosening of COVID restrictions from Nov. 2. 

The CECC is considering a further loosening of COVID restrictions from Nov. 2.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are likely to be loosened further beginning Nov. 2, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday (Oct. 23).

After a major outbreak in May and June, the number of daily local infections has dwindled to single figures, with just imported cases in recent days. As a result, the CECC has gradually lifted restrictions, first allowing eating indoors and visiting movie theaters, and more recently scrapping mask mandates for hiking and outdoor athletics.

The current Level 2 COVID alert was extended until Nov. 1 and it is not yet clear what will happen afterward. While the number of local infections has plummeted, officials are reportedly still worried about coronavirus cases, and in particular the more infectious variants, entering from overseas.

CECC chief Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Saturday that even though the situation was stable, the scale of future loosening of restrictions still needed to be considered, CNA reported.

He also said that many members of the public were not aware of some restrictions that had been abolished, such as the ban on more than 80 people attending wedding banquets. According to the size of the banquet hall, one person per 2.25 square meters is allowed, though chairs should not be too close to each other and diners are expected to wear masks when they are not eating, Chen said.

The requirements to leave empty seats between diners and to set up partitions on tables has also ended, according to the CECC chief. However, real-name registration is still necessary, he added, though he did not mention whether those regulations would change from Nov. 2.

Updated : 2021-11-28 13:45 GMT+08:00