Central Taiwan’s Sun Moon Lake swim to go ahead despite coronavirus pandemic

20,000 swimmers will participate, contestants required to wear masks before, after event

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Sun Moon Lake's annual swimming event will go ahead as scheduled on Sept. 27 

Sun Moon Lake's annual swimming event will go ahead as scheduled on Sept. 27  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The massive annual swim across Sun Moon Lake will go ahead as planned on Sept. 27 despite the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Nantou County Government announced Tuesday (Sept. 15).

Special measures will be taken to prevent infections, CNA reported. The estimated 20,000 swimmers will have to wear face masks before jumping into the water and after emerging from the lake while keeping them inside waterproof bags during the journey. Organizers will also give them more time to cross the lake so they can maintain social distancing.

Registration was opened for the annual event in early August but authorities warned that cancelation remained a possibility as the number of coronavirus infections had surged in several Asian countries.

However, since the situation in Taiwan itself has improved, Nantou County decided to go ahead and keep Sept. 27 as the date for the mass swim. Due to travel restrictions, foreign swimmers will not be able to travel to Taiwan to participate.

People who arrived from overseas within 21 days before the event will not be allowed to join, while all participants will have to register their names. Friends and relatives also have to register but will be kept out of the pier area where the swimmers gather after crossing the lake, organizers said.