TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As part of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) restrictions easing next week, water sports such as scuba diving and surfing will be allowed, but swimming will remain prohibited.
At a press conference on Friday, July 23, Minister of Health and CECC Chief Chen Shih-chung ((陳 時 中) announced that Taiwan would lower its national alert from Level 3 – which served as a “soft lockdown” – to Level 2, which will take effect on July 27 and end on August 9. Chen said the types of water activities allowed under Level 2 will be depending on whether masking and / or social distancing can be maintained.
He said places where it is not possible to wear a mask all the time, such as coastal areas, beaches, water parks, will remain off limits. Swimming, whether on beaches, swimming pools or other bodies of water, will continue to be prohibited.
However, he said scuba diving will be allowed because “the whole body is well covered and the difference is that you already wear a mask when you go ashore. When they are in the deep ocean there is less. possibility of cross-infection In addition, operators will have to manage correctly (epidemic prevention protocols). “
Chen said that in general, people can participate in water activities that don’t involve the need to get together or frequent physical contact. He said activities such as surfing, boating and jet skiing can be enjoyed as long as people maintain social distancing in the water and wear masks when going ashore.
Update: 07/28/18:25 p.m.
New Taipei City, Yilan County and Taitung County have announced that all water activities will continue to be banned, with the ban in Yilan lasting until August 2. Some coastal attractions in these three counties will allow visitors to enter, but not swim or enjoy water sports, and they must wear masks at all times.
In northern Taiwan, only the city of Keelung chooses to follow the CCCB guidelines for water activities exactly. In eastern Taiwan, Hualien began allowing surfing and scuba diving on Tuesday, July 27, but not whitewater rafting.
In southern Pingtung County, limited water activities are permitted at five beaches, including Sail Rock, Little Bay, Dawan (Big Bay), Fongchuisha, and Xingshawan. The Dapeng Bay Scenic Area is also conditionally open to water sports.
Water activities such as jet skiing will be permitted at Sail Rock provided that only one person at a time occupies the craft and appropriate social distancing can be maintained. The Dapeng Bay Scenic Area will allow windsurfing, stand up paddleboarding (SUP), pedal boats and canoes, provided participants wear a mask at all times. Scuba diving is also permitted in the area, but swimming is still prohibited.
Penghu Outer Island mainly follows CECC guidelines on this matter, allowing most water activities except swimming and snorkeling. However, like many other counties, it places crowd limits on popular attractions such as the “Moses Parting the Sea” sandbank.