CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan to lift ban on eating, drinking on public transportation

02/23/2021 10:07 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) A ban on eating and drinking on public transportation will be lifted from March 2, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) announced Tuesday, following confirmation from the Central Epidemic Command Center.

The lifting of restrictions pertains to trains, highway buses, ferries, domestic flights and also post offices nationwide, the MOTC said, however reminding the public to put their face masks back on after eating.

The lifting of the ban does not apply to city buses or the Mass Rapid Transit system, where the rules have always existed.

The ban was imposed from Feb. 1 to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 after Taiwan began reporting domestic cases of the coronavirus infection linked to the Taoyuan General Hospital in January.

The decision was also made in view of the Feb. 10-16 Lunar New Year holiday, during which travel demand had been expected to spike.

This is not the first time the eating on public transportation ban has been imposed. In April 2020, the ministry prohibited eating food in trains in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, but the ban was lifted in June as the COVID-19 threat seemed to have abated.

Also that day, the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. said the sale of non-reserved tickets, which allow travelers to stand if there are no seats available or sit in unoccupied seats in non-reserved carriages, will resume on March 2.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Ko Lin)

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