The Impact of COVID-19 on the Construction Industry in Taiwan
Taiwan has kept the COVID-19 infection rate low at 458 confirmed cases 1 and seven deaths despite the island’s close links with China. It was one of the few jurisdictions in the world that did not impose lockdown measures and kept its construction sites open and employees working.
What are the COVID-19 preventive measures?
Taiwan implemented epidemic interventions as early as mid-January 2020. On 15 January 2020, the Government identified the virus as “severe special infectious pneumonia” and shortly after activated the Central Epidemic Situation Command Center.2 A comprehensive epidemic control measure was then implemented, which included travel restrictions, quarantine protocols and integrated medical information platforms. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association,3 Taiwan engaged in 124 discrete action items to prevent the spread of the disease.
On 30 January 2020, the National Health Command Center (“NHCC”) and Ministry of Labour published a guidance note 4 to the construction and manufacturing industries. Taiwan has kept the COVID-19 infection rate low at 458 confirmed cases1 and seven deaths despite the island’s close links with China. It was one of the few jurisdictions in the world that did not impose lockdown measures and kept its construction sites open and employees working. The guidance note includes a risk assessment and prescribes detailed administrative controls, environmental controls and personal protective equipment to be implemented in the workplace
How have construction projects been impacted?
According to a survey conducted by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) in March 2020, the respondents in the construction industry experienced delays in various new private projects resulting from the lack of construction materials and workers.5 However, the lack of workers was generally caused by the reduced mobility of local construction workers not foreign workers.
5: Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang. 24 April 2020. “COVID-19 contagion hurts business sentiment among manufacturers”. Focus Taiwan.