TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Tuesday (July 19) announced it will end the mask requirement for scooter riders, cyclists, and people working in outdoor open spaces.
CECC head Victor Wang (王必勝) announced that due to the sweltering summer heat mask rules will be relaxed for those exerting themselves outdoors. Specifically, Wang said that those riding scooters and bicycles will no longer have to wear a face mask, effective immediately.
In addition, Wang said that people working in open spaces outdoors will also no longer have to wear a face mask, with immediate effect. Wang said that an example would be construction workers, and he defined open spaces as places where people can maintain the proper social distance from strangers.
When asked by a member of the media whether people going for a stroll outside can also take their masks off. Wang replied by saying that walking can be considered a form of exercise and, based on the existing regulations, people engaged in outdoor exercise are already permitted to take off their masks.
As for why the outdoor mask rule has not been eliminated entirely, Wang explained the center assessed that for epidemic prevention purposes it is still needed in some cases. Wang said that the main situation in which people outdoors can avoid wearing masks is when they are in open spaces where they can maintain a proper social distance from strangers.
Wang said the CECC will gradually relax the mask regulations in stages as long as the risks are deemed to have reached an acceptable level.
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 a scooter, bicycle, or car 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
- Laborers working outdoors in open spaces
- 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. Examples include entertainers, crews, and TV anchors being filmed during performances.
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
- 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.