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Taiwan likely to end outdoor mask rule in July: CECC

COVID cases expected to peak between May 20 and June 10

Taiwan likely to end outdoor mask rule in July: CECC

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (May 9) indicated that there is a high probability the center will discontinue Taiwan's outdoor mask mandate by July, as COVID cases are expected to peak sometime between May and June.

That morning, CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) attended a session of the Legislative Yuan's Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee, which reviewed draft amendments to the Physicians Act and the Prevention of Medical Accident and Settlement of Medical Disputes Act. Chen left the meeting at 10:30 a.m. and fielded questions from the media.

When asked by a reporter when he believes the outbreak will peak, Chen responded that it is estimated it will peak at some point between May 20 and June 10.

When asked whether Taiwan will open its borders to foreign travelers, Chen said in terms of the pandemic, "it's not a big problem to open up," however he said there is still a concern about this further increasing the number of cases in hospitals and stated that conditions are currently not suitable for opening up the borders.

The CECC head said that because the outbreak is estimated to peak between the end of May and the beginning of June, cases will go down in July. Once the country has passed through the peak, there should be sufficient medical resources and there will be fewer issues with opening up the borders, he said.

Asked whether the probability that people can take off their masks will be higher in July, Chen said "of course" but expressed his hope that certain epidemic prevention measures will not be discontinued too quickly. When it comes to outdoor areas and open spaces, Chen said the rules can be gradually loosened.