Taiwan Ends Mask Rule for Cyclists and Outdoor Workers 口罩禁令鬆綁 騎車.戶外工作可免戴

As the domestic COVID epidemic continues to slow down, and with the increasing hot temperature recently, Taiwan's centers for disease control announced that it will lift the mask mandate for scooter riders, cyclists, and outdoor workers in open spaces, such as construction workers, as well as people taking a stroll outdoors. However, experts worry that aside from COVID-19, there is the ensuing flu season in the fall and winter; lifting the mask rule may adversely affect epidemic prevention.


As the unbearably hot temperature keeps going up, many people are unable to keep their masks on while outdoors. The CECC announced that starting immediately, it will end the mask rule for scooter riders, cyclists, and outdoor workers in open spaces, such as construction workers. However, experts worry that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has just emerged domestically; if the mask rule is lifted, it may adversely affect epidemic prevention.

Huang Li-min, Honorary Chairperson, Infectious Diseases Society of Taiwan: “If you take off your mask, it is easy to contaminate the environment, especially if you are a virus carrier. Naturally, if you take off your mask, people may contract the disease through spit droplet infection.”

Jiang Guang-yu, General Internal Medicine Doctor, Taipei City Hospital: “Riding scooters and meeting up - generally, two people ride together so the distance is quite close. If people do not wear masks in that situation, it is still possible to spread the disease. ”

Some experts believe that it is not appropriate to relax the mask rule within a short time, as aside from COVID-19, fall and winter flu season is fast approaching, and variant vaccines have not yet come into the market, so it is difficult to stop new variant viruses and subvariants from entering the community. However, CECC Commander Victor Wang emphasized that the main point is "open spaces"; if people are taking a stroll in an open space, they do not need to wear a mask.

Victor Wang, CECC Commander: “Even if I'm just taking a walk to buy things, but I treat it as exercise, this would be acceptable. The main point is the activity takes place in open spaces and not the so-called definition of such activity.”

Wang reemphasized that those who engage in indoor or outdoor exercises do not need to wear a mask. Also, taking individual or group photos, whether indoors or outdoors, can be exempted from wearing a mask. Currently, the epidemic is gradually slowing down. After a risk assessment, the mask rule may be further relaxed in August. 

 

 

 

天氣好熱,許多民眾外出口罩根本戴不住,疫情指揮中心宣布,從即日起,戶外騎機車、腳踏車、以及在空曠處從事戶外工作者,例如工地施工人員等,都可以免戴口罩,不過有專家擔憂,國內Omicron新型變異株BA.5才剛開始出現疫情,若是鬆綁口罩,恐怕對防疫不利。

台灣感染症醫學會名譽理事長黃立民表示:「你如果把口罩拿掉,很容易汙染環境,如果你自己是帶病毒的人,那當然把口罩拿掉,人跟人之間也可以直接飛沫傳染。」

北市聯醫一般內科醫師姜冠宇說:「雙載騎摩托車,這樣子那這樣其實還是因為說距離太近,如果當下不戴口罩的話,那還是有一個傳染的可能。」

有專家認為,短時間內、不適合鬆綁口罩政策,因為除了新冠肺炎,緊接而來的是秋冬流感季節,況且次世代疫苗還沒上市,很難阻擋新變異株進入社區傳播,不過指揮中心指揮官王必勝強調,重點是、空曠處,如果是在空曠處散步,也是可以不用戴口罩。

中央流行疫情指揮中心指揮官王必勝表示:「我是散步嘛,我買東西雖然去買,但是我是當作一個運動,當然這樣也是可以接受啦,所以重點在空曠處,而不是在這個所謂它的定義上面。」

王必勝重申,目前從事室內外運動時不用戴口罩,室內外拍攝個人或是團體照時,也可以不必戴口罩,目前疫情持續穩定降溫,若評估風險可承擔,8月口罩禁令還會再繼續鬆綁。

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