Taipei, Sept. 27 (CNA) With the spread of coronavirus slowing, Taipei announced Monday that COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining at restaurants will be eased, with people no longer having to be seated apart and divided by plastic partitions when eating with friends or family.
This will take effect from Tuesday, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said at a COVID-19 news briefing, explaining that the easing of the service restrictions on food and beverage outlets was approved as the city has seen zero new COVID-19 cases with unknown sources of infection for 16 days.
However, customers and visitors to venues such as restaurants, eateries and other food and beverage stores will still be required to provide contact information, he noted.
Those who fail to follow the rules could face a fine ranging from NT$3,000 (US$108) to NT$15,000 for violating the Communicable Disease Control Act, Ko said.
Meanwhile, dividers and social distancing seating arrangements will still be required for indoor dining with strangers, Ko added.
The relaxation of COVID-19 restaurant restrictions came after the city lifted the ban on indoor dining last month as the number of COVID-19 cases had fallen from a peak in mid-May, Ko explained.
In addition, the city will also ease restrictions on visits to hospital patients, with visits to patients in special wards, including intensive care units, hospice wards, and respiratory care wards, to be allowed starting Oct. 1.
However, visits to patients in general wards are still banned, Ko said.
Meanwhile, visits to residents at long-term care facilities, care facilities for individuals with physical and mental disabilities, and nursing homes will also be allowed from Oct. 1, he added.