Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) on Saturday proposed implementing a “COVID-19 pass” regulation that would allow only vaccinated people into certain areas.
New Taipei City is planning to require a “COVID-19 pass” for entry to “vulnerable spaces” to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hou said.
Non-students entering elementary schools in New Taipei City are required to show their COVID-19 vaccination cards or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. This is for the protection of students under the age of 12, who are not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, city officials have said.
Photo: Huang Hsu-lei, Taipei Times
The city government would consult with experts before deciding whether to include other venues, such as stores and government buildings, Hou said, adding that eateries are not being considered for the time being.
Meanwhile, Ko said that a “COVID-19 pass” could be used to exempt vaccinated people from some disease prevention rules, such as wearing a mask while exercising in a public area.
The National Parent Educator Volunteer Association yesterday in a statement supported the proposals, adding that before a digital COVID-19 pass can be implemented, both city governments should at least require people to show their COVID-19 vaccination cards when entering schools to ensure students’ safety.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) on Saturday said that the city governments must ensure that people’s personal freedoms are safeguarded.
Chen said the central government is also planning to introduce new regulations pertaining to the digital COVID-19 certificate that is being used mainly for overseas travel.
The digital certificate, which became available in Taiwan on Jan. 1, serves as proof of vaccination and COVID-19 test results.
Chen said local governments are free to adopt their own rules regarding the use of digital COVID-19 certificates, as long as they do not infringe on people’s freedom and human rights.
Taiwan has tightened its mask mandate nationwide, as dozens of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases have been reported since Jan. 3.
It has also adjusted its border control measures, requiring passengers arriving on long-haul flights to wait at the airport until their COVID-19 test results become available.
The central government has also shortened the recommended time between a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and a booster shot from five months to 12 weeks.
Additional reporting by Rachel Lin
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