New Taipei City mulls phased easing of COVID restrictions

22-Jul-2021 Intellasia | TaiwanNews | 5:02 AM Print This Post

With hopes rising that Taiwan may end the Level 3 COVID alert next week, New Taipei City is urging caution, reports said Wednesday (July 21).

The Central Epidemic Command centre (CECC) raised the alert to Level 3 in mid-May after new domestic infections rose to more than 100 a day. After peaking at more than 500, a gradual decline to fewer than 20 a day has given rise to optimism that the current extension of the alert until July 26 might be the last one.

However, New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih on Wednesday recommended a phased approach to the easing of COVID restrictions, CNA reported. He based his concern on the fact that it took only four days for the number of local infections in the city to balloon from just a few to more than a hundred daily in May, while it took four weeks to see a decline back to single figures.

While Hou said he would respect the CECC’s decision expected within two days, he added that his government had been discussing alternative proposals for a gradual change from Level 3 to Level 2. Though he did not reveal details about the possibilities, the mayor said the easing of the restrictions would come in stages, befitting the local situation in New Taipei City.

When the CECC first announced a decision to allow indoor dining at restaurants to resume from July 13, Hou was one of the first to reject the move. Eventually all but one region, Penghu County, followed suit in maintaining the ban.

The current Level 3 alert bans gatherings of more than five people indoors and more than 10 people outdoors, while mask wearing is compulsory outside of the home.

Despite Hou’s caution, New Taipei City nevertheless announced that from July 22, it would accept online reservations to visit five museums and one park that had been closed due to the COVID outbreaks. The list included a ceramics museum in Yingge, a gold museum in Ruifang, a tea museum in Pinglin, museums in Bali and Danshui, and the Lin Family gardens in Banqiao, CNA reported.

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4254272

 

Category: Taiwan

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