TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Wednesday (March 30) said that he was confused by the COVID-19 prevention rules, even as a local commander enforcing the rules, after he was caught singing without wearing a mask during a gathering.
The mayor was reported to the authorities for singing without wearing a mask during a gala on Tuesday evening (March 29), CNA reported.
When asked about the incident during a COVID-19 briefing at the Taipei City Hall on Wednesday, he said rules must be obeyed and that he was willing to accept whatever punishment the rules prescribe.
However, the mayor complained about the complexity of the current mask rules, saying that masking is not required for people giving a speech on a stage, but is required for people singing songs, and then not required again for people taking part in a group photo after singing.
He went on to say that invited singers are not required to wear masks, but then people who are called upon to sing extemporaneously are required to be masked. “As a local epidemic prevention commander, I’m confused,” the mayor said, referring to the mask rules, before adding that rules are rules and violations should be punished.
Chen Cheng-cheng (陳正誠), deputy director at Taipei’s Department of Health, said that the case will be handled according to the Communicable Disease Control Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. The mayor will be given an opportunity to make a statement about the facts, and then the department will do whatever the facts and evidence leads it to do, per CNA.