TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New measures to reduce potential exposures to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in often densely populated areas are being rolled out by Taiwan authorities, after crowds flooded to tourist attractions during last week’s long weekend.
The new measures took effect immediately after being announced on Friday afternoon (April 10). Areas affected include tourist attractions, night markets, traditional markets, temples, national parks, and scenic areas, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center.
Social distancing at night markets, traditional markets, and shopping areas is compulsory, and vendors and consumers are required to wear face masks at all times, said the command center on Friday. Management of these places also need to come up with plans to limit the number of visitors, establish designated points of entry and exit, as well as re-arrange dining areas that can reduce contact among people.
Temples have to restrict the number of visitors. They are also asked not to provide food and drink during events.
Hotels are required to set up specific points of entry and exit, replace buffets and implement more flexible mealtimes. This is particularly necessary during holidays when the occupancy rate of a hotel is high.
As for national parks, scenic areas, and forest recreation areas, restrictions are comparatively more relaxed. When the capacity for parking in these areas reaches 50 percent, people will receive a cell broadcast message advising them to divert to other places.
These measures were introduced after large crowds went to a number of tourist attractions in southern and eastern Taiwan last weekend, prompting public anxiety there could be cluster infections of the coronavirus. The island nation reported 19 confirmed cases this week, most of which were imported, with the origin of infection traceable.
However, the command center said due to the virus’ incubation period, the public should stay alert until the end of the week.