• Directory of Taiwan

Taipei may scrap New Year bash over COVID-19

Taiwanese capital's New Year’s Eve party showcases Taipei 101 fireworks each year

2020 Taipei New Year's Eve party (Taipei City Government photo)

2020 Taipei New Year's Eve party (Taipei City Government photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei will cancel its 2021 New Year’s Eve party if 15 or more coronavirus cases are reported there by the end of November, according to the city’s tourism agency.

The Taiwanese capital will halt all the warm-up events for the New Year countdown should the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) report a single new COVID-19 infection by Nov. 20, a week before they are scheduled to kick off, according to Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆), commissioner of the Department of Information and Tourism. He made the remark at a City Council briefing Tuesday (Oct. 20).

In a scenario where 15 or more cases have been reported, the party will be held virtually or aborted altogether, depending on the seriousness of the outbreak, Liu added. He stressed that the plan is only preliminary and that a more detailed contingency plan will be finalized next week following a comprehensive assessment, wrote CNA.

Side events are set to kick off Nov. 28, spanning outdoor fairs, picnics, and installations. The tourism agency estimates they will attract a total of 300,000 participants, while the New Year’s Eve party is likely to draw a crowd of 350,000, wrote Liberty Times.

One of Taipei's most popular events, the year-end bash takes place in front of City Hall and features a concert of A-list performers and a fireworks spectacle at the adjacent Taipei 101. The show is a magnet for New Year revelers, with Taipei Metro seeing a record-breaking 3.2 million passengers in the 24 hours preceding 6 a.m. on Jan. 1 of this year.