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New Taipei’s Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival postponed

Cluster outbreak connected to hospital in Taoyuan City cited as reason

(<a href="" target="_blank">葉沁心</a> photo)

(葉沁心 photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New Taipei City Government on Tuesday (Jan. 19) decided to postpone the 2021 Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival over concerns of a worsening COVID-19 cluster outbreak around a hospital in Taoyuan City.

New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said during a Tuesday meeting that if a name-based crowd control system cannot be enforced during the event, then it should be postponed, CNA reported.

Noting that the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is an outdoor activity open to the public, New Taipei City Department of Tourism and Information Commissioner Chang Chi-chiang (張其強) said that it would be hard to enforce a name-based crowd control system and restrict eating, so he decided to call off the festivities.

The 2021 event’s two main activities, in which hundreds of lanterns were to have been set aloft, had been originally scheduled for Feb. 21 at Pingxi Junior High School and for Feb. 26 at the Shifen Sky Lantern Square.

Additionally, the 2021 New Taipei Lantern Festival, which had originally been planned to take place at New Taipei Metropolitan Park from Feb. 20 to March 14, has been canceled as well.