CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan to require masks at most public venues from Dec. 1

11/18/2020 05:52 PM
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In a supermarket in Kaohsiung. CNA photo Nov. 18, 2020
In a supermarket in Kaohsiung. CNA photo Nov. 18, 2020

Taipei, Nov. 18 (CNA) Taiwan will mandate the wearing of face masks at eight types of public venues from Dec. 1, with fines of NT$3,000 (US$105.16)-NT$15,000 for non-compliance, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Wednesday.

The new rules are intended to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses during their peak season in the winter months, and to prevent the overburdening of Taiwan's healthcare system, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at a press briefing.

Under the policy, masks will be required at healthcare facilities, on public transportation, at retail and wholesale stores and at designated educational facilities, said Chen, who also heads the CECC.

It will also apply to "exhibitions and athletics" (including movie theaters, stadiums, museums and concert halls), entertainment venues, religious facilities and locations where personal business is conducted, such as banks and post offices, he said.

According to Chen, those who refuse to wear a mask will be liable for fines of NT$3,000-NT$15,000 under Article 37 of Taiwan's Communicable Disease Control Act.

However, restaurants and bars will be exempt from the mandate, on the condition that social distancing is observed, the CECC said.

In terms of outdoor gathering places, such as night markets and traditional markets, and events like parades, religious gatherings and New Year's celebrations, the CECC recommended that organizers set maximum capacity limits based on available space.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan, Chen Wei-ting and Matthew Mazzetta)


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