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Taipei MRT launches mask vending machines

The Taipei metro system on Saturday started dispensing face masks from vending machines installed in six of its stations, according to system operator Taipei Rapid Transit Corp.

The service allows passengers with no masks to buy them at a cost of NT$10 (US$0.3) each to meet Taipei MRT's requirement to wear a mask inside stations and for the duration of the trips, according to the company. The rule took effect on Aug. 6.

The machines were set in stations with a large number of passengers -- including Taipei Main Station, Taipei City Hall, Zhongshan, Zhongxiao Xinsheng, Nanjing Fuxing and Guting -- it said.

No registration is needed to obtain the masks, and passengers can use cash, EasyCards and electronic wallets to make the purchases, the company said. More machines may be installed depending on passenger response, it said.

The unrestricted sale of surgical masks resumed in Taiwan in June, after months of rationing by the government, which was requisitioning the bulk of the domestic production to ensure an adequate supply for medical staff and local residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taiwan had since increased production to meet local demand and also to supply overseas markets. (By CNA)

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