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Taiwan announces prolonged mask rules for July 1-31

CECC head Chen Shih-chung asks public to 'be patient' as Taiwan enters this 'very important mile'

Woman wears mask as she sings at Dadaocheng Wharf on June 19. 

Woman wears mask as she sings at Dadaocheng Wharf on June 19.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (June 29) announced its mask regulations for July.

It said, taking into account the large-scale epidemic in Taiwan, the rising number of imported Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 cases, and the need to maintain domestic epidemic prevention capacity and to effectively control risks, the current epidemic prevention measures such as wearing masks will be extended on July 1 and last until July 31.

CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said the center had discussed the possibility of relaxing some of the mask requirements, but the observation was made that movement within the country has dropped dramatically, similar to the levels seen when a Level 3 epidemic alert had been in place. Over the past two weeks, the number of people going to entertainment attractions has begun to recover, but daily cases are still hovering around 40,000.

Chen said that although daily cases appear to be gradually diminishing, he called on the public to be "patient for a while" and continue to wear their face masks properly. He then announced that the epidemic prevention rules in place for June would be extended through July and asked for "everyone to cooperate" with the rules for this "very important mile."

As has been the case in previous months, people must wear a mask at all times when stepping out of their homes. In situations where masks are not required, they should still be carried and worn if one is experiencing COVID symptoms or cannot maintain a proper social distance from unfamiliar people.

Mask rules

1. Wear a mask when singing in public.

2. Situations when masks can be removed:

  • Indoor or outdoor exercise
  • Individual/group photos either indoors or outdoors
  • Driving by oneself or with family members from the same household
  • 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 springs, saunas, spas, and steam rooms, as well as other situations in which a mask could get wet

3. When it is necessary to eat or drink while out, the mask can be removed.

4. Masks can be removed at places or activities designated by the CECC or another competent authority if relevant anti-epidemic measures are met.

5. Gym users who have received two full vaccinations and a booster shot are not required to wear a mask when working out. However, people who have not received their booster shot must wear a mask and maintain a social distance from others when using a fitness center.

Other epidemic prevention rules

1. Businesses and public venues must continue to measure body temperatures, clean public areas, monitor employees' health, and respond immediately to incidents involving confirmed cases.

2. Stores, supermarkets, and markets are not required to impose crowd control limits, and food sampling at such venues is allowed.

3. Eating and drinking are allowed on the following forms of public transportation:

  • Taiwan High-Speed Rail trains
  • Taiwan Railways Administration trains
  • Intercity buses
  • Ferries
  • Domestic flights

4. Dining venues must measure body temperatures, provide hand-washing equipment, and have adequate disinfection supplies. The ban on table-to-table toasting is still in place.

5. Houses of worship and religious gatherings must follow epidemic prevention measures as stipulated by the Ministry of the Interior.