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Taipei mayor sees end to COVID mask mandate by Lunar New Year

Vaccination passes will soon be available through TaipeiPASS app

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Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je speaking at the Guandu Temple Saturday. 

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je speaking at the Guandu Temple Saturday.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) expressed optimism Saturday (Oct. 30) that the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan would be over by the Lunar New Year, allowing people to walk around without masks.

The first-dose vaccination level for the nation has reached 70%. As a result, Ko said he expected that by the Jan. 29-Feb. 6 Lunar New Year holiday, the same percentage of people in Taipei will already have received their second jab.

The mayor encouraged people who have not been vaccinated yet to hurry up and receive a shot. He also said there would soon be a vaccination pass available online, CNA reported.

The new system will be tied to the TaipeiPASS app, with a green light showing the holder to have received both doses, a yellow light for one dose, and a red light meaning not vaccinated at all. At restaurants, diners will be seated according to the color of the light on their app, Ko said.

COVID restrictions have already been gradually loosened by the central government, with masks no longer required for activities such as hiking or jogging.