TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two major malls near Taipei 101 have announced they will be canceling outdoor activities scheduled for New Year's Eve after Taiwan's first local transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus in over 8 months.
After news broke last week that a Taiwanese woman had contracted COVID-19 after traveling around the north for several days with a New Zealander cargo pilot, city governments and companies have started to announce cancelations or postponements of New Year's Eve festivities. On Monday (Dec. 28), New Taipei City's Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) announced that the city's fireworks display would be postponed due to the difficulty of carrying out onsite real-name registration for a large crowd.
Also on Monday, Taipei 101 announced that it will cancel its New Year's Eve party, which had been set to take place on the 89th floor, due to the local case and new CECC epidemic prevention rules. That same day, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi (新光三越) announced it will scrap its New Year's Eve outdoor market and parties.
Shin Kong Mitsukoshi has also canceled four large-scale New Year's Eve parties in the nearby plazas. These include its Star Light Fun Fair party, which had been slated for the store's A8 branch, and the Rock and Roll New Year's Eve outdoor market, which was to feature over 50 food and drink vendors near Shin Kong Mitsukoshi's A9 and A11 branches in Xiangti Avenue Plaza, reported Liberty Times.
However, the New Year’s Eve activities at Wildwood Live Fire Cuisine restaurant in the department store's branch at A9 party and the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant at the A11 branch will still be held as scheduled because a real-name registration system and epidemic prevention regulations can be implemented.
The Breeze Center (微風廣場) also announced on Monday that its New Year's Day drumming event and the New Year's Eve outdoor markets it had planned for its Nan Shan and Song Gao branches will be canceled, reported CNA. However, the store will continue to operate its restaurants that day, as they will be able to follow the CECC's epidemic prevention guidelines.
The New Year's Eve fireworks display at Taipei 101 is currently still scheduled to take place. However, if new local transmissions of COVID-19 are reported in the coming days, the city government may consider canceling the spectacle.
In October, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) stated that the fireworks would be canceled if 15 domestic cases of the virus were confirmed during the week leading up to Dec. 31. Hinting at a possible cancelation, Ko on Dec. 23 told reporters that the city may have to make a quick decision, perhaps with as little as one day's notice, if a sudden outbreak occurs.