COVID-19 rules to be eased after June 7 on trains, domestic flights

CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said Wednesday that it plans to relax its COVID-19 control measures on trains and domestic flights after June 7, as the disease has been slowing in Taiwan.

Passengers taking Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) and High Speed Rail (HSR) trains will still be required to have their temperatures checked at the gate and to wear a mask up to that point, but they will be allowed to remove the mask after that, if certain conditions are met, the MOTC said.

Those conditions include observing proper social distancing and respecting the barriers put in place to keep people apart, the ministry said.

The same rules will apply at post offices, the ministry said, adding that the adjustments will be made in line with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC’s) plan to allow greater flexibility for social activities after June 7.

June 7 was set as the target date because if there are no new domestically transmitted COVID-19 infections by then, it would mean 56 straight days without such new cases, which is a number that represents four 14-day incubation periods for the disease, the ministry said.

When the restrictions are eased, passengers will be allowed to eat on trains and domestic flights, once social distancing is observed or neighboring passengers are wearing masks, the ministry said.

If proper social distancing cannot be maintained on the train or aircraft, however, passengers will be required to wear a mask for the entire time, according to the ministry.

On TRA and HSR trains, merchandise will be sold onboard again, while beverage services will resume on domestic flights, it said.

In addition, the TRA Puyuma and Toroko express trains will again offer tickets that allow a maximum 120 passengers on each train to stand when traveling during long holiday periods, according to the ministry.

Non-reserved tickets will also become available again for travel on HSR trains, and the staff will monitor the passenger volume, the ministry said.

It also said it planned to remove the restrictions on crowd size and traffic flow at freeway service areas, national scenic areas and amusement parks.