School campuses in Taipei, New Taipei to reopen to public

City government employees disinfecting school grounds(CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — School campuses in Taipei and New Taipei will reopen to the public next week, following the stabilization of the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan, city government officials said Wednesday.

In Taipei, the outdoor areas of schools at the senior high school level and below will be reopened to the public from June 13, more than a month earlier than the original reopening date, said Taipei Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊).

Restrictions on public use of school campuses were originally scheduled to last until July 14, the last day of the spring semester.

Schools in the city will also be able to rent out their indoor venues from June 13, as long as social distancing measures are in place and the names of participants recorded, Huang said.

However, if any domestic infections of COVID-19 are reported in Taiwan, the schools will be closed to the public again, Huang said.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools, Taipei City government banned the public from using indoor venues at elementary schools, junior high schools and senior high schools from Jan. 31.

On March 23, the ban was expanded to limit use of outdoor areas at elementary and junior high schools, and on April 6 at senior high schools.

Under the ban, members of the public were only allowed to use the space on weekends.

Meanwhile, New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) said Wednesday that school campuses in the city will also start to reopen to the public next week.

The city closed schools at the high school level and below to the public on March 19, with the ban originally scheduled to last until July 14.

Following the stabilization of coronavirus numbers in Taiwan, Hou said the public will be allowed access to outdoor areas at schools on the weekend and holidays from June 8.

Schools will also be able to rent out their indoor venues, although they will have to record the names of participants and step up sanitization efforts, Hou said.