TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (Dec. 27) announced that Taiwan's Level 2 COVID alert will be extended to Jan. 10 and listed rules for New Year's Eve events amid concerns over the Omicron variant.
CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that given the continued worldwide spread of Omicron, the Level 2 alert will be continued from Dec. 28 to Jan. 10. Chen said that quarantine rules and epidemic prevention measures will remain in place.
As has been the case under the Level 2 alert, masks must be worn at all times when people step out of their homes. The following are exemptions to the mask rule:
1. Activities where masks can be removed:
- Sports or singing indoors or outdoors
- Taking individual/group photos indoors or outdoors
- Individual/group live broadcasts, video recordings, show hosting, reporting, speeches, lectures, and interactions while filming productions
- Agriculture, forestry, fishery, and animal husbandry work in open areas, such as fields, fish farms, and forests
- Mountain, forest (including forest recreation areas), and seaside activities
- Hot/cold spring, sauna, spa, and steam room venues as well as other situations in which a mask could get wet
2. When it is necessary to eat or drink while out
3. Places or activities designated by the CECC or other 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, clean public areas, monitor employees' health, and respond immediately to incidents involving confirmed cases.
Rules for New Year's Eve activities:
1. Organizers must follow CECC Level 2 guidelines.
- Venue operators must provide sufficient hand sanitizers, increase the frequency of public toilet disinfection, and set up emergency medical response measures.
- No food or drinks can be sold at the venue except in designated areas.
- Indoor venues are not allowed to sell tickets without seats, must implement a real-name registration system, plan a fixed entrance, and measure temperatures and provide hand disinfection at entrances.
2. During an event, masks should be worn at all times, except when drinking water. No food or other beverages are allowed.
- All staff and participants must wear masks except hosts, performers, and speakers.
- With the consent of local governments, organizers may set up an exclusive eating area where people can take off their masks and eat. This area must implement a real-name registration system, temperature measuring, and hand disinfection at the entrance. Eating while walking and tasting samples are not permitted.
- Those who violate the above regulations and refuse to heed the warnings of staff will be punished by the local government in accordance with the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法).
3. People undergoing quarantine, isolation, and self-health monitoring and those with suspected COVID symptoms such as fever, respiratory problems, diarrhea, and an abnormal sense of smell and taste, are barred from participating in these activities, including hosts and performers.
The CECC pledged to adjust epidemic prevention measures and strengthen border monitoring in accordance with the domestic and overseas pandemic situations. It urged the public to carry out personal protective measures and cooperate with regulations to "ensure epidemic prevention and maintain their quality of life."