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Taiwan tightens mask rules amid Omicron outbreak

Masks must be worn when exercising, singing, taking photos, live-streaming, giving speeches

School children wearing masks as they play soccer on Jan. 9.

School children wearing masks as they play soccer on Jan. 9. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government is reimposing mask measures across the country in response to an Omicron outbreak that started at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

On Sunday (Jan. 9), Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced 11 new local COVID cases and said that the Level 2 epidemic alert would be extended to Jan. 24. Chen also said that exemptions to mask rules will be discontinued.

Effective immediately, masks must be worn when engaging in the following activities:

  • Exercising
  • Singing
  • Taking photos
  • Live-streaming
  • Recording video
  • Hosting
  • Reporting
  • Giving a speech
  • Lecturing
  • Taking part in the filming of activities that involve discussions or interviews

Masks are not required in the following situations, but should be kept on hand and should still be worn if experiencing symptoms or when unable to maintain a social distance from strangers:

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

Crowd control must be strengthened in stores, supermarkets, and markets with a social distance of 1.5 meters indoors and one meter outdoors.

Dining venues must implement a real-name registration system, body temperature measurement, provide hand-washing equipment, and have adequate disinfection supplies. Toasting individual tables is prohibited.

Updated : 2022-05-27 03:03 GMT+08:00