The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) said on Monday that the export ban on local face masks is likely to be lifted on June 1. In response to the announcement, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said the government will requisition 8 million masks per day from June 1 from various manufacturers, while the rest will be open for free sale.
Wang said that the domestic inventory has already reached 200 to 300 million pieces, which is sufficient to meet local demand and maintain national stockpile. After the CECC lifts the export ban, manufacturers can opt to sell the remaining masks locally or export them abroad.
To refrain manufacturers from jacking up the price of masks, however, Wang said that the rationing system will remain in place to ensure that everyone can buy them. Masks sold at other locations will have the same price.
If manufacturers are found jacking up the prices, they will face a maximum penalty of up to three years’ imprisonment or up to seven years’ imprisonment, she added.