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Taiwan's Level 2 COVID alert extended to Dec. 27

Taiwan extends Level 2 COVID alert past Christmas amid Omicron concerns

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Visitor to New Taipei's Christmasland takes selfie in 2020. 

Visitor to New Taipei's Christmasland takes selfie in 2020. 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (Dec. 13) announced that the Level 2 COVID alert will be extended to Dec. 27 amid concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant.

Since Taiwan's domestic outbreak of COVID cases greatly subsided during the summer, the epidemic alert dropped from a Level 3 to a Level 2 on July 27 and has been kept in place since. In response to the rise of the Omicron strain of COVID internationally and after discussing the matter with relevant units, the CECC announced on Monday that it will maintain the Level 2 alert from Dec. 14-27.

Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, that afternoon said the current mask regulations will remain in place. He emphasized that masks should be worn at all times when people step out of their homes.

1. Lo said the following exceptions in which masks can be taken off will remain in place:

  • When engaging in sports or singing indoors or outdoors
  • When taking individual/group photos indoors or outdoors
  • When individuals/groups conduct live broadcasts, video recording, hosting, reporting, speeches, lectures, and other verbal interactions when filming productions
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishery, and animal husbandry workers in open areas, such as fields, fish farms, and forests
  • Activities in the mountains, forests (including forest recreation areas), and seaside activities
  • Hot/cold springs, saunas, spas, steam rooms, water activity venues, and other situations in which a mask could get wet

2. When it is necessary to eat or drink when going out

3. Places or activities designated by the CECC or the competent authority, if relevant anti-epidemic measures are met

Business premises and public venues must continue to implement a real-name registration system, measure body temperatures, and strengthen the cleaning of public areas, ensure health monitoring of employees, and respond immediately to incidents involving confirmed cases.

The CECC pledged that it would adjust the epidemic prevention measures and strengthen border monitoring in accordance with the domestic and overseas situation of the pandemic. It urged the public to implement personal protection measures and actively cooperate with various epidemic prevention regulations to "ensure epidemic prevention and maintain their quality of life."