18th March 2023 – (Taipei) According to the Central Epidemic Command Centre (CECC) in Taiwan, if the current decline in COVID-19 cases continues, the mandate to wear masks on public transportation could be lifted in April. The CECC reported a 7.33% decrease in new local infections, with 7,825 cases reported compared to the previous week. Additionally, 35 new deaths and 201 imported cases were recorded.
The upcoming Tomb Sweeping Holiday from 1st to 5th April is a significant factor in deciding whether to lift further restrictions, given that previous holidays have led to minor upticks in cases, as reported by UDN.
Philip Lo, the CECC Spokesman, stated that regular COVID tests for hospital patients and their companions will end on April 10, except for those who exhibit symptoms of the virus. Nevertheless, he stressed that masks will still be required inside hospitals to protect patients and staff even after April.
The decision to remove mask mandates on buses, trains, and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains will depend on the pandemic’s status in mid-April, after the Tomb Sweeping Holiday’s impact is evaluated, as per Lo.
The daily count of new COVID cases is expected to decrease next week, as light cases will no longer require reporting or quarantine starting March 20.