Taiwan to further ease coronavirus restrictions

A staff member walks by plastic dividers installed to protect customers from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread, in a restaurant in Taipei

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan will further ease its restrictions related to control of the coronavirus, the government said on Sunday, as the island has kept the pandemic well in hand with only 6 active cases and no local transmission for 56 days.

Taiwan has never gone into total lockdown and life has continued largely as normal due to its early and effective prevention work and a first rate public health system, but has promoted social distancing and ensured broad public access to face masks.

Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Centre said that it would lift restrictions limiting the number of people who could participate in "daily life and leisure events", though people should continue to wear face masks if they were unable to socially distance.

The government has already begun moving in that direction, allowing a limited number of fans to attend sports matches previously played without spectators.

Food service on trains has also resumed.

However, border entry restrictions remain, with authorities wary of a second wave of infections coming in from countries where the pandemic is still raging, such as the United States and Britain.

Taiwan has reported 443 cases, the majority of which were in people who get infected overseas, and just seven deaths.


(Reporting by Ben Blanchard. Editing by Gerry Doyle)