Indoor dining allowed starting Tuesday: Taipei Mayor

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) announced on Monday that indoor dining will be allowed starting Tuesday under certain conditions.

Speaking at a routine press conference, Ko said that the benchmark for re-allowing indoor dining is based on “less than 10 confirmed cases reported per day on a weekly average,”  ” the number of unknown infections does not exceed 2 cases” and “the number of community cluster infections per week do not go over 3 cases.”

Ko announced the criteria met for restaurants to be able to allow indoor dining. (Photo courtesy of the Taipei City Government)

He explained that the epidemic situation will be reviewed every two weeks to decide whether to continue allowing indoor dining or to cancel it.

If there is a sudden change in the epidemic situation, indoor dining will be prohibited immediately, Ko added.

The Taipei Mayor also announced relevant regulatory measures for indoor dining as well, including asking restaurant staff to take daily temperature measurements and keep records of their health conditions for future reference.

If virus-related symptoms arise such as fever, staff members should take the initiative and report to management and seek medical treatment as soon as possible, Ko said.

For the restaurant environment, Ko pointed out that the key point is to keep the dining environment well ventilated, and people of different tables should keep a distance of 1.5 meters between them.

Independent booths (獨立包廂) should also set up screen compartments or plastic partitions between seats, Ko added.

Plum blossom seating arrangement should also be enforced for those seated at the same table, meaning that everyone should try to leave one space open between each other.

Dining places should also clean and disinfect the environment regularly, and make sure to keep a record of it, Ko reminded.

In addition, for buffet restaurants, there should be proper barriers placed between food and customers to avoid food being contaminated, and service personnel should be in charge of ladling the food on customers’ platters.

As for the wedding banquet activities and dinners, the Taipei City Government has also formulated relevant control measures.

Wedding banquets will be allowed but relevant regulations must be adhered to, Ko said. (Photo courtesy of the Taipei City Government)

Ko emphasized that the upper limit of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors is still the main standard, but the wedding banquet venue can be allowed to host their events in different compartments.

However, every room should still be limited to 50 people. The restaurant will also have to alert the Taipei City Department of Health 3 days before hosting the event.

For operators or people who fail to comply with relevant norms, the city government has also set relevant penalties.

Restaurants that fail to comply can be fined between NT$3,000 and NT$15,000, Ko added.

“Please don’t start partying immediately after certain restrictions are lifted,” Ko said, adding that the public should still be cautious of the further spread of the virus.