As we reach the final month of 2020, Taiwan is still very much on COVID alert, despite not having a confirmed locally spread case since April 12. From December 1, new mask rules have been enforced, with violators at risk of a maximum NT$15,000 fine. Masks are required to be worn on public transport, at healthcare facilities, malls and supermarkets, exhibition venues such as cinemas and sports stadiums, entertainment venues such as KTV bars and nightclubs, houses of worship, and business venues such as banks and post offices. (Read more: New entry regulations to be introduced form December 1)
Now, there may be some confusion when it comes to where masks can be taken off. Especially in places such as bars and swimming pools. Reported by Taiwan News, Minister of Health and Welfare and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), giving KTV bars as an example, said “a mask must be worn when entering the lobby of a KTV bar, where there are large numbers of strangers. However, once a person enters their room, and if only relatives or friends they see regularly are inside, they can ‘relax a little’ and take the masks off.”
Despite no local spread, Taiwan’s number of cases jumped sharply this week, with 24 imported cases being announced in one day on November 30. Of the 24, 20 were Indonesian migrant workers who entered the country between November 20 and 27, while the other four were Taiwanese returning home from the US, the UK and the Philippines respectively. A further six imported cases were announced on December 2, three more from Indonesia, one a Taiwanese national returning from the US, and the remaining two being Cypriot and French nationals traveling to Taiwan for business, reported Focus Taiwan.
At the time of writing, Taiwan has confirmed 690 cases of coronavirus with seven deaths. While life in Taiwan is as normal as it could be given the current global situation, the regulations are remaining strict in order to avoid another outbreak.
(cover photo: Y S)