Taipei allows nightclubs, ballrooms to reopen

China | 22 May 2020 11:28 am

A total of 14 hostess clubs and ballrooms in Taipei have received approval to reopen after passing all relevant government safety inspections, the city's Office of Commerce announced.

Thirteen premises are in Taipei's Songshan district, with the other in Zhongshan district, the office said in a statement yesterday.

The authorities will monitor the venues closely to ensure they follow guidelines designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus from the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), the office said.

On April 9, the CECC ordered hostess clubs across the country closed, saying they posed a high risk of spreading the virus after a hostess at a club in Taipei was confirmed to have the disease.

In view of the easing coronavirus situation, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung, who heads the CECC, announced on May 8 that local governments can decide whether to reopen their cities' hostess clubs under certain conditions.

Based on the CECC guidelines, businesses are required to ask that customers follow social distancing measures, wear face masks, have their temperature taken, and make sure they use hand sanitizer before entering.

The clubs will also be required to keep a register of the names and National ID card numbers of customers.

A discussion was held Monday between city officials and several dozen hostess club operators whose businesses were suspended following the CECC order.

Forty-six of these operators applied on Wednesday for a business resumption permit, and were instructed on how to use a mobile app designed to register customers' identities, which then have to be uploaded to the city government's data cloud.

Those caught breaching the CECC guidelines will be fined between NT$3,000 and NT$15,000 in accordance with the Communicable Disease Control Act. Businesses can also have their license revoked for a month after three repeat offenses.


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