The Command Center’s press conference today will announce the relaxation measures for the second phase of the mask order.

In principle, indoors on campus are "voluntarily decide whether to wear a mask".

(file photo)

[Reporter Lin Xiaoyun/Report from Taipei] The Central Epidemic Command Center will announce the relaxation measures for the second phase of the mask order at a press conference this afternoon.

In principle, indoors on campus should “decide whether or not to wear a mask”, and “should wear a mask at all times” when taking the school bus or in certain places such as the on-campus health center. If you have symptoms, are elderly, or have low immunity when entering the school, or there are special situations where crowds gather, it is “recommended wear mask".

The command center is expected to announce the implementation of mask loosening measures from February 20 this year. There will be a buffer period after primary and secondary schools start next Monday, and colleges and universities that start later are expected to start on March 6.

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It is reported that the command center will announce this afternoon that measures to loosen the restrictions on indoor masks will be implemented starting from February 20 this year, and will be divided into "designated places" such as medical care institutions and public transportation. It is stipulated that masks should still be worn. People who are elderly or immune-compromised/crowded, etc., are advised to wear masks, and "other indoor places" are left to the public to decide whether to wear masks.

According to the command center, the Ministry of Education has divided the relaxation measures into three types of masks: should be worn, voluntarily worn, and recommended to be worn. In order to facilitate school preparations for the opening of the school, campus cleaning and disinfection, and observation of students' health conditions, it also cooperates with the division of mask control situations in schools at all levels into "campus Indoor”, “Designated Places” and “Special Situations” categories.

"Campus indoor" is in principle "self-wearing", and teachers and students can decide whether to wear masks independently.

Minister of Education Pan Wenzhong emphasized in an interview yesterday that individual respect and self-wearing of masks should be the main focus. After the command center announced that the masks were loosened, teachers and students should decide whether to wear masks, respect and tolerate each other.

However, on-campus health centers or public transportation vehicles (such as school buses and shuttle buses) are "designated places" and masks should be worn at all times according to regulations.

Those who enter the school have symptoms, are elderly or immunocompromised, or are in crowded places, which fall under the "special circumstances" listed by the command center, and it is recommended to wear masks.

However, the Ministry of Education also gives schools flexibility. The school considers the teaching needs, and after fully communicating with the teachers and students in the school to reach a consensus, it can decide on its own to wear a mask in a special field or when there is a need for teaching; Fields (such as laboratories, studios, or kitchens, etc.) or some courses (such as catering practical courses, biochemical experiment courses, etc.) have regulations on "wearing masks" according to their nature.

In China, the ban on outdoor masks was lifted on December 1 last year, and has been relaxed simultaneously. Teachers are not required to wear masks in lectures and speeches, sports, singing, music playing, dancing courses, etc., but they are still required to wear masks indoors after class.

Wang Bisheng, commander of the command center, said last night that today the command center press conference will announce the relaxation of the second phase of the mask order, but it will not be implemented immediately and there will be a buffer period.

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