An employee disinfects seating at a food court in New Taipei City yesterday. Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
By Lin Shin-han and Cheng Ming-hsiang / Staff reporters
Restaurants, night market food vendors and food courts in Taipei, New Taipei City and Yilan County can accept dine-in customers from today, provided that they strictly adhere to disease prevention regulations.
Restaurants elsewhere in Taiwan resumed dine-in services on Tuesday last week when the Central Epidemic Command Center lowered the COVID-19 alert to level 2.
Taipei and New Taipei City cooperated on the decision to lift the dine-in ban as residents frequently travel between the two cities, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi （侯友宜） said yesterday.
The Yilan County Government later yesterday also announced it would lift the ban from today.
However, Hou said that New Taipei City could reimpose the dine-in ban if the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 spreads or there is a surge in domestic cases, adding that people should wear masks in public places.
If a restaurant has workers or customers who contract the virus, it would be ordered to suspend operations for three days and would not be permitted to accept dine-in customers for 11 days after it resumes operations, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je （柯文哲） said.
Restaurants, night market food vendors and food courts in Taipei and New Taipei City should strictly adhere to disease prevention regulations, the two city governments said, adding that eateries should arrange checkerboard seating for diners or place partitions on tables.
Should dine-in customers wish to share their meals, service personnel should divide each dish into small portions before serving it to customers, they said.
The number of indoor customers should be capped at 50 and outdoor customers should be capped at 100.
If restaurants want to accommodate more customers, they must implement measures to separate customers, and ensure that they enter and exit separately, the Taipei City Government said, adding they must also seek approval from the Taipei Department of Health.
Dining areas should be adequately ventilated, with tables being at least 1.5m apart, and food service providers must monitor their health daily, it added.
Dine-in customers at night markets must not share food or eat at the counter, the New Taipei City Government said, adding that customers are banned from eating while walking or they would be fined NT$3,000 to NT$15,000.
Meanwhile, sports centers, gyms, the Bali Aquatics Center and the Jonjiao Bay Surf Center would also reopen today, but swimming pools and shower facilities would remained closed, the New Taipei City government said.
Shrimp fishing ponds and claw machine stores would also be allowed to reopen today, the city governments said.