Labor Commissioner Chen Hsin-yu pointed out that the local “blind massage” industry has taken a significant blow from the pandemic. These shops have been closed since May 15, in compliance with the government-mandated, Level 3 COVID Alert restrictions. DOL also provided financial assistance to 109 masseurs, each with a 3-month-worth of fund totaling NT$45,000 to take care of immediate expenses over the period.
In compliance with the latest guidelines published by the Ministry of Health and Welfare after the lowering of COVID Alert to level 2, many massage parlors and stalls have opened their doors to customers again.
To help these businesses attract customers, Commissioner Chen instructed the agency to assist masseurs in improving the quality of Taipei’s “blind massage” parlors and facilities, seeking to encourage renovations of these businesses to prepare for a new start after the pandemic subsides. One of the measures is to extend the deadline for equipment renewal subsidies to October 31.
All “blind massage” parlors registered in Taipei are eligible to apply. Subsidies are available for upgrades such as shop décor, hardware, and other miscellaneous items. The subsidy calculation is based on the maximum number of employees scheduled for the same time slot. Businesses employing 4 or less visually-impaired masseurs can receive up to NT$200,000; those with 5 to 6 visually-impaired masseurs can collect a maximum of NT$250,000, and the cap on the fund for operations with 7 or more visually-impaired masseurs is NT$300,000.
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