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(Update) Q&A on Coronaviruses (COVID-19) for Foreigners in Tainan (2020/12/01)

Updated on 2020/12/01

Part 1: Overall Epidemic Preparedness and Control in Tainan

Q1: According to the Fall-winter COVID-19 Prevention Program, what are the requirements for mask-wearing and what are the consequences if one violates the rules?

A1: From December 1, people must wear masks in the following eight types of public venues: healthcare facilities, public transportation, places of consumption, learning places, sports and exhibition venues, entertainment venues, religious and worship places, and offices and business venues. Please see the following table for detailed information:

Venue Type


Healthcare Facilities

Medical institutions (hospitals, clinics, blood donation centers), nursing institutions (care homes, postpartum care homes, mental-care institutions), welfare institutions for the elderly (long-term care institutions, nursing homes, other welfare institutions for the elderly), long-term care service institutions (home-based, community-based, institutional, and integrated), veteran homes, child and juvenile welfare institutions (childcare centers, early intervention institutes, and placement and educational institutes), welfare institutions for those with physical or mental disabilities, and other healthcare or welfare facilities

Public Transportation

High Speed Rail, Taiwan Railway, metro, national highways, highway buses, city buses, taxis and taxi stations, airports, sea and air freights

Places of Consumption

Hotels, shopping malls (shopping centers), department stores, indoor retail markets, supermarkets, showrooms, furniture showrooms, community pharmacies, retail pharmacies, retail medical device vendors, drugstores, retail shops and other places of consumption

Learning Places

Community colleges, learning centers for the elderly, training cources, study centers, social education institutions (social education centers, science education centers, libraries) and other learning places

Sports and Exhibition Venues

Film screening venues (theaters, cinemas), assembly halls, stadiums, event centers, exhibition venues (concert halls, performance halls, museums, art museums, exhibition halls, historical sites, memorial halls), indoor skating rinks, indoor swimming pools, amusement parks, commercial playgrounds and other sports and exhibition venues

Entertainment Venues

Cruises, cabarets, dance halls, nightclubs, clubs, restaurants, bars, pubs, MTVs, KTVs, barbershops (tourism barbershops and AV barbershops), massage places, fitness and leisure centers (including beauty and weight loss places that provide acupressure, sauna and other facilities), bowling house, pool court, fitness center (including public sports centers), golf driving range with indoor screen, entertainment venues, electronic game arcades and other entertainment places

Religious and Worship Places

Temples, monasteries, churches, funeral halls, mourning halls, cremation sites, ashes storage facilities and other religious and worship places

Offices and Business Venues

Banks, securities and futures dealers, insurance companies, and business sites for telecommunications and cable TV companies, credit cooperatives, post offices, credit departments of agricultural and fishery associations, government agencies at all levels, offices that provide public service, and other similar locations

If people need to dine at the above-mentioned public venues, as long as social distancing is maintained (1.5 meters outdoor and 1 meter indoor) or partitions are installed inside those locations, people can take off their masks temporarily while eating.

For those who do not wear a face mask as required and refuse to wear a mask after being advised to do so will be fined not less than NT$3,000 and no more than NT$15,000 according to Subparagraph 6, Paragraph 1, Article 37 of the Communicable Disease Control Act. For more information, please visit the CECC website: https://www.cdc.gov.tw/Category/MPage/gpasrf4_SEoEtNTK1FBqpg. 

Q2: In response to the Fall-winter COVID-19 Prevention Program, are there changes made to the visiting rules at city government agencies?

A2: According to the Fall-winter COVID-19 Prevention Program, everyone who visits offices and business venues must wear masks at all times. Tainan City Government continues to require real-name registration for citizens when visiting government agencies to conduct businesses.

Q3: In response to the Fall-winter COVID-19 Prevention Program, what are the rules to follow when holding public gatherings?

A3: In outdoor venues where large crowds gather (scenic sites, amusement parks, night markets, and wet markets, etc.) or in public large-scale gatherings (parades, religious pilgrimage, outdoor parties), organizers or management units of such venues are advised to manage and control crowds based on the total number of people at these venues. Participants should maintain effective social-distancing throughout the event and at the entire location. Those who feel ill should strictly refrain from attending these events. Mask-wearing should be put into practice at all times when proper social-distancing cannot be achieved.

Organizers of public gathering activities are required to conduct risk assessment and formulate contingency plans. Organizers must also request participants to wear masks and provide real-name contact information. As the pandemic is rapidly evolving, the government makes rolling adjustments regarding the regulations. Please refer to Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and the Tainan City Government for the latest regulations.

Q4: For foreigners who want to pay for their own diagnosis tests of COVID-19, what is the application procedure?  

A4: If there is a need for out-of-pocket diagnosis tests of COVID-19 due to personal emergencies, or the needs to work or study abroad, one can get tested in the three following medical institutions in Tainan designated by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CEEC): National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Chi Mei Medical Center, and Chi Mei Hospital in Liouying.

However, to conduct these self-financed tests, one must meet certain criteria and submit an application. For detailed guidelines, please refer to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CEEC)

https://www.cdc.gov.tw/Category/MPage/I92jtldmxZO_oolFPzP9HQ#collapseOne84534 or contact the Public Health Bureau hotline (06-288-0180).

Q5: What is the current pandemic situation in Tainan?

A5: As of November 30, 2020, there have been 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tainan, including 37 imported cases and one indigenous case. Please visit Tainan City’s Public Health Bureau for updated information: https://health.tainan.gov.tw/list.asp?nsub=A7C2A5

Q6: What are the heightened sanitization and disinfection measures taken in public places in Tainan?

A6: Tainan City Government has completed comprehensive disinfection measures at major public venues in Tainan, including train stations, underpasses, bus transit stations, and the High Speed Railway station. Disinfection areas also cover many outdoor areas and frequently-visited public sites, including chairs at transportation hubs, 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.”

Q7: What are the measures to respond to school interruption?

A7: To make sure that 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 of available tablets and laptops for children to learn online at home. Telecommunications operators also provide discount plans for wireless internet service.

Q8: There are quite a number of overseas students studying in Tainan. What are some preventive measures to protect citizens and students?

A8: 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 2: Home Quarantine and Home Isolation

Q9: Are quarantine hotels available in Tainan?

A9: Tainan City Government’s Public Health Bureau and Bureau of Tourism worked together to secure quarantine hotels for residents undergoing home quarantine/isolation. For those who need further assistance concerning quarantine hotels, please contact the Public Health Bureau hotline (06-2880180).

Q10: Are there hotels in Tainan for the family members of the those undergoing self-health management or home-quarantine?   

A10: For those required to undergo home-quarantine or home-isolation, besides the option of staying at quarantine hotels, they can also stay at home and let their family members stay at hotels. Tainan City provides a list of these safe, reassured accommodation with discount plans: https://www.twtainan.net/zh-tw/event/newsdetail/3897. 

Q11: Who are the ones that must stay at quarantine hotels?

A11: Travelers should stay at a quarantine hotel after entry if they live with people 65 years old or older, children 6 years old or under, or persons with chronic diseases (such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or lung diseases) or if they don’t have a separate room (including a separate bathroom). In these cases, the individuals must apply to stay at quarantine hotels to undergo home quarantine.

Q12: Are quarantine taxis available in Tainan?

A12: All quarantine taxi drivers have completed their professional training, 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 hotline (06-2880180). The Public Health 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.

Q13: What are the guidelines for individuals under home quarantine/ isolation?

A13: Please stay at home or place of lodging. Please wear a mask at all times. 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.

Q14: If one develops suspected symptoms during home quarantine/ isolation, what should I do?

A14: If you develop symptoms during home quarantine/isolation, please immediately call the Public Health Bureau hotline (06-2880180). Designated staff will conduct assessment, arrange medical care, facilitate telemedicine service with hospitals, and support necessary sanitization and disinfection procedures. Please refrain from taking public transportation at all times.

Q15: Is telemedicine service available for home quarantine/isolation individuals?

A15: When home quarantine/isolation individuals do not feel well and

require medical care, please contact the Public Health Bureau hotline (06-2880180) for assessment. Once the assessment is completed and deemed necessary, the Public Health 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. Here’s the list of the medical institutions with telemedicine service: https://health.tainan.gov.tw/page.asp?mainid={B40D283E-AD5A-4FBF-8E50-FFC2CF568DB6}. 

Q16: How should I handle garbage during home quarantine/isolation?

A16: 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 (06-2686610). 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 have the regular garbage trucks collect the waste.


Q17: How can short-term business travelers apply for the shortened home quarantine when visiting Tainan?

A17: All applications concerning the shortened home quarantine measure for short-term business travelers should refer to the guidelines developed by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) (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 hotline (06-288-0180).


Part 3: Face Masks

Q18: Where can I purchase face masks?

A18: Starting on June 1, 2020, the government removed the limits on the export and sales of face masks. Citizens can purchase face masks at all retail channels. The “real-name registration purchase system” is still in place and will continue at least till December, which allows pre-ordering of masks at NHI-contracted pharmacies, on the “eMask” website or via kiosks at convenient stores. Adults have access to nine masks every 14 days, while the quota for minors remains at ten masks every two weeks. Starting from 2021, there might be changes concerning the regulations of the “real-name registration purchase system”, so please follow the CECC for the latest announcements.

Q19: What are the matters to take notice when purchasing face masks?

A19: 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.

Q20: Where can I get a list of NHI-contracted pharmacies and how do I look up the mask stocks?

A20: Please refer to the two following websites:

  1. Maps of NHI-contracted pharmacies in Tainan City to purchases face masks: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1Hh4vsAMiGCKpqqGPPbCTJvijD0JTnDNz&hl=zh_TW&ll=23.147111555171175%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