On July 20, Taipei City announced citizens must provide prescriptions issued within the past six months to purchase contact lenses in the future. The statement has drawn backlash from the public, and Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je said today that the law is not a reference, but something citizens should abide. The regulation will be carried out in stages and will first be enforced on those under 18 and first-time purchasers.

Huang Shi-jie, deputy chief of the Department of Health, says it’s indeed unrealistic to regulate people who have been wearing contact lenses for a long time. Ko says the requirement of prescriptions for buying contact lenses was already issued in 1975, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare released a press release on June 8 to reiterate the case.

Newtalk.tw reports, Ko believes that the ministry has made a statement and the city government should follow through.

According to the conference held by the Department of Health of Taipei City and retailers on July 16, violators of the regulation will be imposed a fine between NT$60,000 to NT$ 160,000 (approximately US$ 1,900 to US$ 5,000).

Translated by Olivia Yang