Passengers on Taipei’s MRT metropolitan railway system are required to wear masks for the duration of their trip with immediate effect, regardless of whether they can maintain social distancing, the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) said yesterday.
Anyone who fails to comply to the rule — which was reinstated after several foreign nationals tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to their home countries from Taiwan — would be denied service and fined of up to NT$15,000, it said.
Three foreign nationals, two from Japan and one from Thailand, were diagnosed with COVID-19 after returning from Taiwan in June, last month and this month, officials have said.
Contact tracing for two of those cases, involving a Japanese student and a Thai worker, has been completed, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said on Wednesday.
There was no risk of community spread from those three cases, the center said.
However, the case of a Japanese engineer, who tested positive on Sunday after returning to Japan, is still being investigated, as is the case of a Belgian man who tested positive last week in Taiwan, the CECC said.
The CECC reiterated that people should wear masks in enclosed spaces, including medical care centers, schools, religious centers, markets, performance and entertainment centers, on public transportation, and in areas with large crowds.
The center said that many people had stopped wearing masks in most spaces once the nation’s disease situation had eased.
Compulsory mask wearing on Taipei’s MRT was relaxed on June 7, after no new domestically transmitted cases had been reported since April 12, according to CECC data.
Since then, passengers have not been required to wear masks on the MRT if they could maintain social distancing of at least 1.5m to other passengers.
However, wearing masks for the duration of their trips has remained obligatory for passengers who have a fever or respiratory symptoms.
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
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