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Taiwan Fact Check: Mask wearing not mandatory

Rumors that people must wear masks from Friday are baseless

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A video snippet suggests that masks must be worn from Friday (Dec. 1). Actually, this was from November 2020 and there is no truth in the rumor. (TFC ...

A video snippet suggests that masks must be worn from Friday (Dec. 1). Actually, this was from November 2020 and there is no truth in the rumor. (TFC ...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Rumors in Taiwan that individuals must wear masks from Friday (Dec. 1) are false, according to the Taiwan FactCheck Center (TFC).

The non-profit foundation pointed out there has been a video circulating since Nov. 25 claiming that given a rise in COVID-19 and influenza cases, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) would impose mask-wearing. The fine for not wearing a mask was said to be NT$15,000 (US$478.93)

These stories were compounded by other “news” claiming the spread of mycoplasma pneumonia and other respiratory diseases from China had prompted the mask-up directive. There is also a chart doing the rounds claiming to indicate eight places where masks must be worn.

The warning to wear masks in the video is actually from November 2020, when COVID swept the nation. In reality, the number of influenza-like diseases (including COVID) has decreased since September, according to CNA.

The CDC confirmed on Tuesday (Nov. 28) that there were no plans to impose a mask-wearing mandate. A press release said respiratory diseases were on the rise in China, but Taiwan had not been significantly affected as yet.

The CDC recommends the elderly and young, or those with compromised immune systems, do not travel to China unless necessary. Also, if individuals have to go, they should get vaccinated against the flu and COVID before they travel — and take note of their health condition when they return.