Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday announced that the city is raising its COVID-19 alert level to 2.5, with a conditional ban on dine-in services.
People who have received two or three shots against COVID-19 can dine in at eateries, while those who have not been vaccinated or have only received one jab should only eat on-site if there are isolation booths, he told a news conference.
Ko said he is not thinking of raising the alert level to 3, as Taiwan has a relatively high vaccination rate and vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus.
Taipei residents are advised to voluntarily abstain from dining in, which remains a high-risk activity, he said.
During the level 2.5 period, people can dine in if they have received their second dose at least 14 days before, while those who have not should order takeout or delivery, he said.
The measures are advisory for now, as the city hopes that the partial restrictions on indoor dining would encourage people to behave responsibly, he said, adding that more forceful measures might be imposed if compliance is low.
Photo courtesy of the Tainan City Government via CNA
Asked about dining regulations for children aged 12 or younger, Ko said that they can dine in if they are accompanied by a parent.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday extended the nation’s level 2 COVID-19 alert to Feb. 7, meaning that people are still required to wear masks outside their homes, unless they are eating, or if they are in outdoor spaces with very few people, such as in forests or fields.
Asked about Ko’s announcement, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that so long as the alert level is within the level 2 range, local governments can raise it to a level they see fit, be it level 2.5, 2.6 or 2.4, and that the public must abide by the regulations.
The CECC yesterday reported 71 new COVID-19 infections: 27 domestic and 44 imported cases.
Most of the new locally transmitted cases were linked to known clusters in Taoyuan, Kaohsiung and Yilan County, or isolated cases in a New Taipei City hospital, Chen said.
However, there are three confirmed cases whose sources of infections are still being investigated, including two Taoyuan residents in Bade District (八德), who took the test at COVID-19 testing sites in the city, and an Indian national, who took the test for a trip abroad, Chen said.
Twelve of the 27 local cases are breakthrough infections, while seven are children younger than 10 who are not eligible for vaccination against COVID-19 in Taiwan. Two received one dose each of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, one is unvaccinated and the status of the remaining five has yet to be determined, the CECC said.
The center did not release information on the vaccination status of the imported cases.
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
Ninth graders were asked to define “trolling” on this year’s standardized exam, reflecting efforts to make the test better reflect real-life situations. Adjustments to this year’s Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High School Students were revealed on Sunday, after the last cohort of students completed the test over the weekend. The Ministry of Education solicited feedback about the test from teachers, who approved of the new question in the English portion. Not only was question No. 20 “very much in line with real-life situations,” but it also used a new style in which students were asked to ascertain the correct dictionary definition based
Taiwan is on alert for monkeypox, a rare viral disease that has caused 87 infections in 11 countries over the past three weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Saturday. The WHO on Friday convened an emergency session to discuss a sudden outbreak of monkeypox in North America and Europe. Since the beginning of this month, 87 confirmed cases and 28 possible cases have been identified in 11 countries. The countries with the highest case counts are England with 29 cases, and Portugal and Spain with 23 each. Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease occurring primarily in the tropical rainforest areas
Three human skeletons and artifacts believed to be about 400 years old were unearthed by construction workers at National Ilan University in Yilan County, the university said yesterday. The discoveries were made on May 10 as workers were digging to expand the College of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science’s facilities, the university said in a statement. The skeletons were found at three sites, along with glass beads, copper bells and rings, discs and a fish-shaped metal knot, it said. The find is likely connected to the “Old Baili Village” (擺厘舊社, Bai Li Jiu She), an as-yet-undiscovered Kavalan settlement that has been mentioned in