Face mask mandate to remain in July
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says the face mask mandate will remain in place through to the end of July, due to the current domestic coronavirus situation and the rising number of imported cases of the newest Omicron subvariants.
Under existing rules, people are required to wear a face mask at all times when they are outside their homes, except in certain situations. The exemptions apply when people are eating, participating in water-related activities, taking individual or group photos, travelling alone or with family members in a private car, or are traversing wide outdoor spaces such as fields and forests.People are also exempt from wearing masks when exercising, unless it is in a gym, but the Sports Administration has stipulated that only individuals who have received three vaccine shots can exercise mask-free in a gym.
Other coronavirus protocols will also remain in place throughout July, including a ban on table to table toasting at banquets. However, people will still be allowed to eat on trains, intercity buses, ferries, and domestic flights, and to sample food at markets.
This comes as the CECC reported another 42,204 new coronavirus cases yesterday. Of that total, 42,112 were domestic infections. Taichung once recorded the highest number of cases, with 6,117. That was followed by New Taipei with 5,747, and Kaohsiung with 5,139 cases.
Health officials say 80 previously reported cases have become severe, while 147 others have now been listed as having moderate symptoms. 85 new deaths were reported and that's the second time this month that daily deaths fell below 100. The latest patients ranged in age from their 30s to 90s. They included 81 individuals who had chronic illnesses or other severe diseases and 35 who were unvaccinated. It brings the number of coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began here in Taiwan to 6,533.
In other Covid news, National Security Council Secretary-General Wellington Koo has tested positive for the coronavirus. According to the Presidential Office, Koo is one of four cases that also include National Security Council Advisor Chen Chun-lin.An office spokesperson says none of the four affected individuals had any contact with President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai or other officials.
Koo and Chen tested positive for the coronavirus using a rapid test kit after developing symptoms and their infections were confirmed by doctors.However, the Presidential Office says both have only mild symptoms of the disease and are continuing to work remotely - and the National Security Council's official responsibilities have not been affected.