Taiwan's National Palace Museum to shorten hours as coronavirus precaution

Taipei branch to be closed evenings starting Feb. 14, hours of museum's Chiayi branch unaffected

National Palace Museum. (NPM photo)

National Palace Museum. (NPM photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Starting next Friday (Feb. 14), the National Palace Museum in Taipei will shorten its opening hours to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday.

The adjustment is a precaution against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the museum said via a statement on Sunday (Feb. 9). It added it would expand its preventive measures by deploying more manpower to disinfect the museum environment.

The new opening hours will remain unchanged until March 31, with Monday and evening hours canceled, according to the museum. Nevertheless, the new policy does not apply to its southern branch in Chiayi County for now.

The SARS-like virus, which has spread throughout Asia from China since an outbreak in Wuhan last December, has taken more than 800 lives. Taiwan has confirmed 17 infectious cases without any deaths, and the authorities have said the virus has not spread among neighborhoods.

Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control advises the public not to wear a face mask in public spaces unless one has symptoms of respiratory illnesses. People may consider wearing a mask in crowded areas or indoor spaces lacking air circulation.