Taiwan raises its corona virus alert level in capital Taipei


Taiwan raised its corona virus level today in the capital, Taipei, and the city around it, bringing curbs for a period of two weeks that will shut many venues and restrict gatherings in the wake of 180 new domestic infections.


The new rules will not mean offices, schools or restaurants have to close, but will cause the shutdown of cinemas and other entertainment spots, while limiting family get-togethers to five people indoors and 10 outdoors.


For the first time, masks will have to be worn outdoors.


Taipei’s government has already ordered bars, nightclubs and similar venues to shut.


Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je urged people to stay home as much as possible, adding that schools should teach online.


President Tsai Ing-wen’s spokesman said that, it would reduce the number of unnecessary meetings or public events.


The new restrictions do not apply to the chip-manufacturing hub of Hsinchu, and are unlikely to affect exports of semiconductors, a global shortage of which has shut some car factories.


Taiwan has millions of vaccine doses on order from Moderna Inc and AstraZeneca Plc, though only a small number have arrived due to global shortages.


Since the pandemic began, Taiwan has reported fewer than 1,500 cases among a population of about 24 million, most of them imported from abroad, but a recent rise in community transmissions has spooked residents.


The island has never gone into a full lockdown and its people are used to life carrying on near normal, despite the pandemic ranging in many other parts of the world.


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