Level 3 alert extended with some relaxations
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) is extending its nationwide level 3 coronavirus alert, but easing some regulations to allow more social activities.
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says the current level 3 alert will be maintained for at least another two weeks (until 26 July) because there is still a risk of community spread.
However, the minister says some of the restrictions on daily and social activities will be eased, starting from next Tuesday (13 July).
That will see the resumption of onsite restaurant dining, but seating arrangements must adhere to social distancing rules and plastic shields need to be set up between tables.
Customers are suggested to limit their onsite dining at restaurants to one hour per person, and will be required to wear face masks at all times, except when they are eating.
Some scenic spots and facilities such as libraries and museums will be permitted to reopen, if social distancing regulations are observed and people wear face masks at all times.
Sports centres, golf courses and gyms will also reopen, with social distancing and mask wearing mandated.
But showers will remain closed and the rental of personal gear will not be permitted
Swimming pools will remain closed as will beaches and mountain lodges.
And other types of recreational venues where the mask rule cannot be easily imposed, such as KTVs, bars, nightclubs and dance halls will also remain closed.
The announcement comes after the CECC reported 18 new domestic coronavirus cases and three imported cases yesterday, the lowest daily case number since 15 May.
All of the 18 domestic cases were reported in the Greater Taipei area, with Taipei recording 12 cases and New Taipei six.
The source of infection has been identified in nine of the cases, while the remaining cases are still under investigation.
The three imported cases were two Taiwanese nationals who returned from Thailand and the United States and an Indonesian fisherman.
The latest cases bring the total number here in Taiwan since the pandemic began to 15,149.
Three new deaths were also reported, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll to 718.