TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (March 28) announced its mask regulations and vaccination requirements for entertainment venues for the month of April.
During a press conference on Thursday (March 24), CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that the severity of the pandemic, the rise in the number of imported cases, the addition of several cluster events in different locations, and the fact that the source of infections has yet to be clarified indicate an increased risk of community transmission. Citing a need to maintain epidemic prevention capacity and effective risk control during socioeconomic activities, the CECC has decided to strengthen epidemic prevention measures in specific entertainment venues and maintain the current mask regulations through April 30.
A mask must be worn at all times when stepping out of one's home, including when singing at public venues.
1. Situations when masks can be removed:
- Sports indoors or outdoors
- Individual/group photos indoors or outdoors
- Driving by oneself or with live-in family members
- 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 area), and seaside activities
- Hot/cold springs, saunas, spas, and steam rooms as well as other situations in which a mask could get wet
- When it is necessary to eat or drink while out
- While at places or during activities designated by the CECC or another 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.
Stores, supermarkets, and markets are not required to impose crowd control limits, and a ban on food sampling at such venues has been lifted.
Eating and drinking are allowed on the following forms of public transportation:
- Taiwan High-Speed Rail trains
- Taiwan Railways Administration trains
- Intercity buses
- Domestic flights
Dining venues must implement a real-name registration system, measure body temperatures, provide hand-washing equipment, and have adequate disinfection supplies. The ban on table-to-table toasting has been reimposed.
Houses of worship and religious gatherings must follow epidemic prevention measures stipulated by the Ministry of the Interior.
Chen said that in response to the spike in local COVID cases, strengthened epidemic prevention control measures will be imposed on karaoke parlors, dance halls, nightclubs, hostess bars, bars, tea houses, saunas, and "barbershops."
- Customers who wish to enter such venues must provide proof of at least three COVID vaccine doses and sign in on the real-name registration system. Those with respiratory symptoms or a fever will be denied entry.
- All employees (including migrant workers) must have received the second of two doses of a COVID vaccine at least 14 days prior to beginning work. If the second dose was administered more than three months ago, they must show proof of a booster shot to be allowed to work at the venue.
- These employees must undergo rapid antigen testing once a week from now until April 30, and only those who receive a negative result can provide services.
- For snack bar/karaoke employees whose businesses have halted operations, if they resume business they must present proof of a negative PCR test result taken within three days and undergo rapid antigen screening every two days as well as a PCR test once a week within the first two weeks of resuming business.
- Entertainment venues must create a list of all employees, including service staff, counter clerks, cleaning staff, administrative staff, and itinerant workers and formulate a health monitoring plan with a mechanism to track and process the employees in the event of irregularities.