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[Level 3 COVID Alert] Mayor Announces Adjustments to Level 3 Restrictions

Guideline adjustments for movie theatersDuring the COVID update press conference on July 9, Mayor Ko Wen-je unveiled the latest information on the pandemic. While the largest number of confirmed cases appears to be the marketplace cluster in Taipei City, the next in line (in terms of cluster size) likely takes place within individual households. He called upon citizens to eat their meals separately when at home, since eating together might increase the risk of spread. Also, the number of people still under home isolation in Taipei is 1,043.
 
Regarding vaccination registration for those above 65 years old and indigenous people above the age of 55, the total number of reservations have reached 114,373. Roughly 30,000 positions remain available before the deadline on July 10.
 
On July 8, a total of 2,119 individuals received free PCR tests at seven local hospitals. Among these, 7 positive cases were discovered. The mayor believes that this show that there are still asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in the community. He continues to call upon individuals exhibiting symptoms or have contact history to come and get tested.
 
On the issue of minor adjustments to Level 3 COVID Alert guidelines, the mayor cited the examples of Tokyo which instituted its fourth emergency declaration and the identification of the Delta variation on an individual arriving from Indonesia. He stressed that overreliance on border control might leave us vulnerable to new virus variants. Therefore, after consideration, the city government adjusted the guidelines as follows: 1. Inhouse dining at restaurant is still banned; 2. Those vital for civilian economy and society operations are given top priority to reopen, and 3. Businesses benefiting from measure relaxation are required to implement supporting measures such as mandatory staff vaccination, lowering of venue capacity, and segregated crowd flows for reopened infant and senior care facilities.
 
Considering the aforementioned principles, the modified Level 3 COVID Alert effective July 13 include:

  1. Inhouse dining at food courts in department stores, big box retailers, public market and night markets are still restricted. Only takeout and deliveries are allowed.
  2. School campuses, Taipei Children’s Amusement Park, Taipei Zoo, Taipei Astronomical Museum, and Taipei City Youth Development Office will remain closed.
  3. Taipei Public Library will remain closed, but the facility will set up temporary checkout desk to enable borrowing and returning of books (online e-book borrowing and borrowing/returning via convenient stores remain unaffected).
  4. Movie theaters require face masks at all times, ban all eating and drinking, and maintain contact-tracing and distance seating measures.
 
Sports Commissioner Li Tzai-li went over the guidelines for activities permitted under the limited reopening of sports and exercise venues in Taipei starting July 13:
  1. Open-air venues: skiff; rollerblade; bouldering; rock climbing; shooting; archery; cycling; Qigong; Taichi; exercise; aerobics; fitness training; yoga; track and fields; golf; bowls; woodball; croquet; squash; solo play versions of tennis, badminton, and table tennis; cricket, and baseball/softball.
  2. The cap for area-per-person is set at one individual for every 4 square-meters, with a maximum of 20 individuals for indoor space and 40 people for outdoor places. In addition to this limit, venues for tennis, table tennis, badminton, and similar sports have an additional limit of 2 people max per table and 1 per squash court.
  3. Open air professional sports events: The relevant authority should receive and grant permission to pandemic prevention plans and checklists (including health condition survey) no later than 7 days before the scheduled event.  
 
Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-kun discussed measure relaxation for the following cultural and performance venues:
  1. Performance venues will only allow closed-door practices, performance recordings, and online streaming shows – all without audience. The social distancing of 1.5 meters should be observed, and the city government should receive a list of participants from the designated pandemic prevention personnel no later than 72 hours before the event.
  2. Venues are open on a reservation basis. Measures such as face mask, temperature-taking, contact-tracing, and disinfection are mandatory. Each session should last no longer than 2 hours, and disinfection should be conducted between each session.
  3. Filming crew are required to implement pandemic prevention measures and set up a unit responsible for this duty. The consent of participants is required for sequences involving physical contact. Those who cannot wear face mask due to filming must undergo frequent test – at least once every 7 days.