Sitting on floor of Taipei Main Station lobby banned due to coronavirus

Foreign workers and travelers sitting on chessboard-colored floor of the lobby a common sight

Taipei Main Station lobby

Taipei Main Station lobby (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Sitting on the floor of the lobby at Taipei Main Station is banned until April 30, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) announced on Saturday (Feb. 29).

Taipei Main Station, located in the Zhongzheng District of Taiwan's capital, is where Taipei Metro, Taiwan High Speed Rail, and Taiwan Railways converge. While the station serves as a major transportation hub, it has also become a place where people gather to rest and socialize.

As a measure to help stem the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus (COVID-19), visitors are now prohibited from congregating in the station’s lobby or sitting on the floor. Events or exhibitions will also not be permitted to take place at the venue during this period, according to TRA.

Travelers waiting for their trains and migrant workers are often seen sitting on the floor in the lobby, known for its chessboard-like design of black and white tiles. The design has sparked an interesting debate about why people tend to sit on the black tiles rather than the white ones.

Taipei Main Station lobby (TRA photo)