Over 5,000 tourists visit Taiwan's Green Island as holiday commences

Almost 1,000 visitors expected on Orchid Island before long weekend finishes

Travelers lining up to board the ferry to Green Island Thursday (June 25)

Travelers lining up to board the ferry to Green Island Thursday (June 25) (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As foreign travel has become near impossible due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, more than 5,000 visitors are traveling to Green Island in Taitung County on the first day of the four-day Dragon Boat Festival vacation Thursday (June 25).

Even though the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has advised citizens to stay away from crowded places during the holiday, ferries leaving the port of Fugang reported brisk traffic. The 5,000 visitors expected Thursday amount to three times the population of Green Island, CNA reported.

The original schedule has been abandoned, and ships are leaving the harbor for the island as soon as they are filled, according to the Coast Guard, with 18 journeys expected throughout the day. Orchid Island, further away from mainland Taitung County, will receive an estimated 1,000 visitors from four ferries.

Passengers have been asked to put on a mask before boarding the ships, while the local authorities have said that social distancing measures will not be a problem, though the power supply may come under strain during the evening.

Visitors to Taitung County told reporters they had been waiting for a long time during the pandemic before finally deciding to take a break and travel to Taiwan's southeastern region "to get away from it all."