TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New Taipei City's Christmasland festival was brought to end at midnight after Taiwan reported its first imported case of the new U.K. coronavirus variant.
Following its first locally transmitted coronavirus case in more than eight months last week, Taiwan on Wednesday confirmed that a teen who arrived from London Sunday (Dec. 27) had been infected with the new strain of the disease. Labeled B.1.1.7, the U.K. variant is believed to be up to 70 percent more transmissible than the original.
The New Taipei City Government announced Wednesday evening that it had decided to end its Christmas celebration four days early to avoid becoming a loophole in the country's epidemic prevention efforts. It thanked the public for its support for the last 48 days and said that all light decorations would be turned off at 12 a.m. on Thursday (Dec. 31).
New Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) arrived at Christmasland to thank workers for their service. He promised that the city would bring back its wonderful yuletide events next year, reported New Talk.
The festival, which had been scheduled to run from Nov. 13, 2020, to Jan. 3, 2021, was a hot spot this winter. Its annual holiday concert earlier this month attracted more than 450,000 people in just two days.