CORONAVIRUS/Rules on social distancing seating arrangements to be eased

05/27/2020 03:44 PM
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Taipei, May 27 (CNA) With no domestically transmitted cases of COVID-19 reported since April 12, rules on social distancing seating arrangements in cinemas and other public venues will be relaxed from June 7, according to Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday.

In a radio interview, Chen said that starting June 7, restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather at cultural and leisure events will be lifted, while restaurants will no longer be required to install table dividers as long as there is sufficient space between tables.

However, when tables are close together and customers not from the same group, dividers will be required until a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment has been developed, he added.

Meanwhile, social distancing seating arrangements will be lifted on Taiwan Railways Administration trains and high-speed rail trains, concert halls, theaters and baseball stadiums. Although travelers and fans will still need to wear masks, under certain conditions the consumption of food will be allowed.

The CECC made the decision to ease large-scale coronavirus management measures as communities are generally considered safe when a country has recorded no domestic infections for 28 straight days (twice the 14-day incubation period for the novel coronavirus), he said.

The measures have remained in place longer than would normally be necessary because the public remains concerned over the prevalence of asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 and patients with mild symptoms, as well as the possibility of false negative tests, Chen added.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Evelyn Kao)

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