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Taiwan eases indoor mask mandate Feb 20

What you need to know about CECC's easing of indoor mask mandates

Mask mandate continues on public transportation. (CNA photo)

Mask mandate continues on public transportation. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Starting on Monday (Feb 20), the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) will relax rules governing the wearing of masks indoors.

Masking regulations are being relaxed as COVID concerns wane. Generally speaking, mask mandates will only be enforced at medical institutions and on public transportation. To better explain the changing mandate, TVBS compiled some frequently asked questions (FAQs) to better educate the public.

From tomorrow (Feb 20) which places still require masking?

There are two types of places where masks are still mandatory. The first is medical care institutions, which include hospitals, clinics, medical affairs offices, pharmacies, long-term care institutions, elderly welfare service offices, veterans’ homes, childrens' and juvenile service centers, and welfare institutions for the physically and mentally disabled.

Public transport and special means of transport include railway cars, ships, buses, aircraft, and other means of transport, including related stations. However, the CECC said one can take off masks to eat, drink, take pictures, and receive medical treatment where wearing a mask is inconvenient.

When taking a taxi, if there is only the driver and me in the vehicle, do I still need to wear a mask?

According to the CECC regulations, passengers taking public transportation and special transportation are required to wear masks. This includes taxis, cable cars, ambulances, and other buses. Therefore, it is always necessary to wear a mask when taking a taxi.

Do I need to wear a mask when entering a small enclosed or similar space such as an elevator?

The CECC says masks are only required indoors when entering medical care institutions or public transportation and special vehicles. Therefore, people can independently decide whether to wear masks in other indoor places. It is still recommended to wear a mask in crowded spaces with poor ventilation and proper social distancing cannot be kept, but it is not required.

Taiwan eases indoor mask mandate Feb 20
More clarification about easing of the indoor mask mandate. (Ministry of Health and Welfare photo)

In which situations is it recommended to wear a mask?

The CECC suggests a mask should be worn in the following four instances.
(1) Fever or respiratory symptoms.
(2) When elderly people or those that are immune-compromised go out.
(3) Places where crowds gather and proper social distancing cannot be maintained or ventilation is poor.
(4) When in close contact with the elderly or immunocompromised (especially those who have not been fully vaccinated).

Do I need to wear a mask when attending a concert or crowded event?

The CECC said that people can independently decide whether to wear masks except for medical care institutions and public transportation. However, if the organizer of an event requires wearing a mask, the public has to cooperate, otherwise, the organizer has the right to prohibit those who do not wear a mask from entering the venue or undertaking other measures.

Do students in schools need to wear masks?

The CECC said mask regulations on school campuses will be released starting from March 6. After this time, masks will still be required at school health centers, school buses, kindergarten vehicles, campus shuttle buses, etc. Schools will also have the discretion to adopt their own mask measures.

While it may not be mandatory to wear a mask, can I continue wearing a mask if I want?

The CECC emphasized that regardless of whether one is indoors or outdoors, individuals have all the power and discretion to wear a mask. If you are worried about COVID transmission, you can choose to continue wearing a mask.