Because you’ll be slapped with a hefty fine for not wearing a mask on the subway.

In a lot of countries around the world, masks are now a daily necessity. In Taiwan, where our Japanese-language reporter Yui Imai lives, not wearing a mask in public places such as the transport system can result in a fine of up to 15,000 yuan (US$2,292), so it’s essential to ensure you have a mask on you at all times.

In case you do find yourself without a mask, though, there’s a saviour — mask vending machines, which have been installed at main stations on the Taipei subway. Our reporter had heard about the machines but never used one before, so she decided to rectify this by tracking one down to find out what they were really about.

▼ It didn’t take her long to come across this vending machine at Taipei Metro’s Taipei City Hall Station.

One unique feature that immediately stood out was the fact that the machine didn’t sell any white masks, which are the most popular in Japan. The masks on sale here were available in three colours: blue, orange, and yellow.

▼ Colourful masks are all the rage in Taiwan, where you can find boxes of disposable masks at stores in all the colours of the rainbow.

Yui was pleased to see the mask vending machine stocking masks that were so on-trend, so she popped 10 Yuan (US$1.53) into the slot and pressed the button for an orange variety.

▼ The orange slot whirred into action and slowly produced the mask as if it were a ticket.

▼ The mask was neatly packed in a sealed paper package for hygiene.

When Yui opened the paper envelope, she found the mask was sealed in a plastic bag, and the orange was such a beautiful hue she wanted to match it with her pastel outfit right away.

The mask vending machines at Taipei stations are incredibly convenient and easy to use, saving you from a hefty fine in seconds on the off-chance that you do find yourself without a mask.

It’d be great to see vending machines like these pop up at stations around Japan as well, and who knows – maybe the coloured mask trend will catch on here soon too. Until then, we’ll be buying our masks on the go at these Japanese vending machines, which sell antibacterial wipes as well.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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