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Updated Important Q&As for Foreigners Residing in Tainan In Response to COVID-19

Updated on 2020/9/14

Part 1: Overall Epidemic Prevention and Control Efforts and Preparedness in Tainan

Q: What is the current situation in Tainan?

A: As of September 11, 2020, there have been total 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tainan, with 17 imported cases and one indigenous case. For the latest information, please visit Tainan City Government’s designated webpage for COVID-19 prevention and control: https://www.tainan.gov.tw/News.aspx?n=22873&sms=20162   

 

Q: In response to the new life style for disease prevention, are there changes made regarding the visiting rules at city government agencies?

A: Tainan City Government continues to require real-name registration for citizens who visit the government agencies to conduct businesses. When entering government buildings, visitors must first register their personal information. Mask-wearing is also required. This is a measure to protect the health of both individuals and the public.

 

Q: What are the places that require mask-wearing? What are the penalties for not wearing masks?

A: Starting from August 17, mask-wearing is required when visiting the following venues or participating in the following events:

1. Medical and Health Care Institutions: Hospitals and clinics, long-term care institutions, social welfare (child care) institutions.

2. Public Transportation: Public transportation stations and on buses/trains.

3. Marketplaces: Tourist factories, department stores, and wholesale stores.

4. Education and Learning Venues: Libraries, cram schools, and study centers.

5. Performance, Exhibition and Competition Venues: Indoor venues for arts and cultural activities.

6. Religious places: Religious gatherings and pilgrimage processions.

7. Entertainment venues: Venues of the eight major adult businesses and movie theaters.

8. Large-scale activities: Group tourism activities and events that take part on public roads.

9. Other venues: Sites and locations designated by the Central Epidemic Command Center or the Public Health Bureau.

All persons in charge, managers or operators of these designated places or activities should fully comply with relevant epidemic prevention measures. Those who fail to improve after being reminded and advised by the city’s governing agency or enforcement inspectors will be reported; these cases will be sent to the Public Health Bureau for a fine ranging from NT$3,000 to NT$15,000 according to the Communicable Disease Control Act.

 

Q: In response to the new life style for disease prevention, what are the regulations concerning mass gatherings?

A: Tainan City Government had previously developed the “Protection and Implementation Guidelines in Holding Gatherings and Events in Response to COVID-19.” Later, in response to relaxed measures by the Central Epidemic Command Center, Tainan City also stopped to apply these guidelines to gatherings and events starting from June 7. However, citizens are still required to take relevant epidemic control and prevention measures, including real-name registration, social-distancing, temperature-taking, and personal health management.

These government policies and measures are reviewed and adjusted on a rolling basis to reflect and respond to the rapidly-changing pandemic landscape. Please refer to the latest regulations announced by the Central Epidemic Command Center or Tainan City Government at the time of the event.

 

Q: Are there enhanced sanitization and disinfection measures taken in public places in Tainan?

A: Tainan City Government has completed comprehensive disinfection measures at major public places in Tainan, including train stations, underpasses, bus transit stations, the High-Speed Railway station, and their outdoor areas. We take special caution in cleaning the public spaces with frequently touched surfaces (for example: chairs in waiting areas, pedestrian sidewalks, and public restrooms). The city government has also notified public transportation businesses, major venue operators, and community management offices to thoroughly implement cleaning and disinfection measures and conduct self-management. Putting up signs to indicate the disinfection frequency and cleaning status is also very reassuring for the public, for example signs that read, “This area is fully disinfected.”

 

Q: What are the on-campus measures put in place to prevent the disease as elementary and junior high schools start the new semester?

A: The city government has required schools to ensure the supply of epidemic prevention goods and the thorough implementation of sanitation measures. All schools in Tainan City have sufficient inventory of digital thermometers (both forehead and ear modes), while schools with 500 people or more are equipped with infrared thermal imaging cameras. The Bureau of Education also has in stock spare masks, sodium hypochlorite solution for disinfection, ultraviolet germicidal lamps and other epidemic prevention goods to supply for schools. Parents are also urged to prepare spare masks for their children. For school visitors, real-name registration system is required, as well as mask-wearing and designated pick-up zones. Teachers and students are not required to wear masks at all times on campus. However, parents must pro-actively monitor their children’s health status and report to the teachers, while teachers must also take the initiative to understand students’ health status and make sure that students who are sick immediately put on their masks and go to see the doctor.

 

Q: What are the measures to compensate for school interruption in case of new outbreaks?

A: To make sure that school children can keep on learning in case of school interruption, Tainan City Government has planned a number of online self-directed learning platforms and tools. Resources are aggregated on the Online Self-Learning Portal (http://www.tn.edu.tw/hlearning/), including free learning materials provided by three main publishers. In addition, software is available for teachers to teach remotely. The Portal also includes a number of short online learning videos. To support families who do not have the necessary hardware and communication infrastructure, the city government made an inventory and identified tablets and laptops available for children to learn online at home. Main telecommunications operators are also ready to provide discount plans for wireless internet service, so that students can better conduct self-directed learning at home when necessary.

 

Q: As foreign students gradually return to Tainan to continue their studies, what are the corresponding measures?

The city government provides guidance to universities and colleges in setting up single-occupant rooms with exterior windows, single-entry and single-exit pathways, traffic routes to separate different groups of people, and cleaning and waste disposal arrangements. Most students cannot afford staying in quarantine hotels, therefore this arrangement addresses their needs. Once the Public Health Bureau inspects and approves of these dorms, schools can bring in foreign students in batches to stay at these quarantine school dorms. Schools must also regularly report the student numbers to the Public Health Bureau.

When the foreign students arrive, schools must help arrange the transportation service. During their quarantine period at these school dorms, schools must put in place 24-hour access control, and also arrange staff members to deliver meals and provide health-related care and support. If there are any medical needs, the staff members must immediately notify the Public Health Bureau and arrange for doctor’s appointment.

Part 2Home Quarantine

Q: Are their quarantine hotels in Tainan?

A: Tainan’s Public Health Bureau and Tourism Bureau have worked together in including certain hotels to serve as quarantine hotels for citizens who have to undergo home quarantine. For those who are seeking quarantine hotel service, please contact the Public Health Bureau’s hotline (06-288-0180).

 

Q: Who are the ones required to stay in quarantine hotels?

A: For people who are required to quarantine at home, if the family members or people living together are elders 65 years old or above, children 6 years old or under, patients with chronic diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or lung disease), or homes without separate rooms (including separate bathroom), these individuals must apply to stay in an epidemic prevention hotel to fulfill their home quarantine requirements.

 

Q: Are quarantine taxis available in Tainan?

A: Quarantine taxis are available in Tainan. All taxi drivers are professionally trained, conduct self-health management on a daily basis, and regularly report their health status. These dedicated quarantine taxis serve only the home quarantine and home isolation individuals. For those who need quarantine taxis, please contact the Public Health Bureau hotline (06-288-0180). The bureau conducts an assessment, and upon confirmation, refers the case to the Bureau of Transportation to dispatch these quarantine taxis. The taxi fare follows the rates of regular taxis.

 

Q: What are the guidelines for individuals under home quarantine/ isolation?

A: Please stay at home or place of lodging. Please wear a mask at all times. Please strictly remain indoor and refrain from taking public transportation. During home quarantine/isolation, please record your own temperature twice a day, in the morning and at night. Relevant agencies will contact you daily to check on your health status. For persons living together, please take adequate preventive measures, including keeping at least one meter away from the quarantined individual and use bleach solutions (concentrations of 500ppm) to clean the common living areas three times a day.

 

Q: What should I do if I develop suspected symptoms during home quarantine/isolation?

A: If you develop symptoms during home quarantine/isolation, please immediately call the Public Health Bureau hotline (06-288-0180). Designated staff will conduct assessment, arrange medical care, facilitate telemedicine service with hospitals, and support necessary sanitization and disinfection procedures. Please strictly refrain from taking public transportation at all times.

 

Q: Is telemedicine service available for home quarantine/isolation individuals?

A: When home quarantine/isolation individuals do not feel well and require medical care, please contact the Public Health Bureau (06-288-0180) for assessment. Once the assessment is completed, the Bureau arranges telemedicine service with hospitals. Following the diagnosis, family members or designated persons take the patient’s National Health Insurance card to the designated clinic or hospital to pay and collect the medicine. A number of medical hospitals and clinics have joined this initiative to provide telemedicine services for those under quarantine/isolation. Here’ s the list of these medical institutions: https://health.tainan.gov.tw/page.asp?mainid={B40D283E-AD5A-4FBF- 8E50-FFC2CF568DB6}.

 

Q: How should I handle garbage during home quarantine/isolation?

A: Please make sure to put your personal waste in the red garbage bag provided in the quarantine care kit. If you need to have the garbage collected, please call the Bureau of Environmental Protection hotline to set up a pick-up time (06-268-6610). It is usually once every five days, but as the number of home quarantined/isolated individuals increase, trash collection capacity can be compromised. We advise keeping the trash at home if space allows. Once the home quarantine/isolation period ends and your case is cleared, you may then discharge the garbage at regular garbage trucks.

 

Q: How can short-term business travelers apply for the shortened home quarantine when visiting Tainan?

A: All applications concerning the shorted home quarantine measure for short-term business travelers should refer to the guidelines put form by the Central Epidemic Command Center (https://www.cdc.gov.tw/Category/Page/40GydEZ6Lh7UDPxi73t4Vg ). If you want to apply to the local government for out-of-pocket COVID-19 testing or if you want to transition from home quarantine to self-health management, please contact the Public Health Bureau’s hotline (06-288-0180).

 

Part 3 – Face Masks    

Q: Where can I purchase medical face masks?

A: Starting June 1, 2020, the government has lifted the restrictions on face mask exports and sales. Citizens can purchase masks at various retail channels. The face mask real-name registration system will continue to run until at least this December, so that citizens can have access to sufficient masks at NIH-contracted pharmacies or through the online eMask network by making pre-orders at kiosks in convenient stores. Adults continue to have access to 9 masks every 14 days, while the quota for minors remains at 10 masks for every 14 days.

 

Q: What are important matters to pay attention to when purchasing medical masks?

Medical face masks are categorized as medical devices. According to Article 27 of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, only those qualified as pharmaceutical firms are allowed to sell medical devices, includes online sales. When purchasing medical masks, please take notice of the medical device permit license numbers on the outer packaging of the product. If you would like to verify the authenticity of the license number, you may refer to the Food and Drug Administration’s license database (https://info.fda.gov.tw/MLMS/H0001.aspx). Please report to the Public Health Bureau if you find any medical masks of unknown origin or with unclear labeling.

 

Q: Where can I get a list of NHI-contracted pharmacies and how do I look up the mask stocks?

A: Please refer to the two following sources.

(1) Maps of NHI-contracted pharmacies in Tainan City where mask purchases can be made: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1Hh4vsAMiGCKpqqGPPbCTJvijD0JTnDNz&hl=zh_TW&ll=23.14711155517119%2C120.29808264999997&z=11

(2) Maps of NHI-contracted pharmacies with information on available stock:

https://dashboard.tainan.gov.tw/home/showboard/10027?MHid=5


Hashtag:#COVID-19