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Mayor to Lift Restrictions on In-store Dining August 3

Overview of Taipei's criteria for lifting ban on dine-inWith the recent drop in COVID-19 infections, Mayor Ko Wen-je announced the relaxing on the ban on dine-in effective August 3. However, he reminded restaurants to continue the implementation of pandemic prevention measures.
 
Ko remarked that recent statistics show that the wave of COVID-19 infections in Taipei City is now under control. A total of 2 confirmed cases were reported on August 2 – one already in quarantine, and another individual who contracted the virus from unknown sources. The testing from August 1 showed 0 infection among 882 people. The statistics indicate that there are still unidentified cases in the community, but the number is very limited. Another positive sign is that first dose vaccination coverage for Taipei City has reached 43.5%.
 
Regarding the issue on dine-in, the city government devised guidelines on this matter last week. Effectively, restrictions on in-store dining could be eased as long as the following criteria are met: daily number of confirmed cases over a week is 10 or less; the average number of daily confirmed cases with unknown sources over a week is equal or less than 2; and the number of weekly cluster cases is less than 3. In the past weeks, the average number of confirmed cases in Taipei is around 30, and the average number of cases with unknown sources is less than 1 – this is why reopening is possible starting August 3.
 
The mayor pointed out that following the central government’s guideline, the maximum in-store dining capacity is 50 people and 100 people for outdoor. If the restaurant believes that the cap on 50 people is unreasonable since the building has space to accommodate more customers, it must implement isolation and triage measures to manage crowd flows. Any attempt to expand the permitted capacity at one time must receive clearance from the Department of Health through application.
 
Ko stressed that after the lifting of dine-in ban, restaurants and shops must thoroughly implement pandemic prevention measures in two fronts: The first aspect concern customers and comprising measures such as buffets being strictly served by waiters with prearranged menu items and distancing of 1.5 meters between tables. Another option is to set tables apart by screens or partitions, or use separate rooms. For those sharing the same table, individuals must be separated by protective screens or through adequate distance between seats. Restaurant staff must also perform self-monitoring of health. Those who have not been vaccinated will require weekly screening. Disinfection and cleaning of the store must be conducted daily. If restaurants reopen without implementing the aforementioned measures, they risk fines between NT$3,000 and NT$15,000.
 
Ko reminds businesses to remain alert, since any confirmed case among staff or customers will result in forced shutdown lasting 3 days. Furthermore, it can only offer delivery or takeout service for 11 days after business resumes.