District in northern Taiwan flashes yellow crowd alert amid COVID fears

Visitors should avoid Daxi Old Street before 6 p.m. Friday: Taoyuan City Government

Daxi Old Street in late January 2021, before the Lunar New Year holiday

Daxi Old Street in late January 2021, before the Lunar New Year holiday (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taoyuan City called on visitors to stay away from Daxi District’s Old Street, a lake, and a temple in the Longtan District until 6 p.m. Friday (Feb. 12) after crowds of Lunar New Year visitors led to a yellow alert.

Amid fears of COVID-19 transmissions, the central government designed a color alert system, with a red light triggering parking and entry restrictions if the proportion of visitors exceeded 60 percent of a set maximum number for any area, CNA reported.

A yellow alert indicates the number of visitors is between 50 percent and 60 percent of the maximum, while a green light means safety, without the need for crowd controls.

By 3 p.m. Friday, mild weather and the Lunar New Year holiday had prompted crowds to descend on Daxi. The area features a street of old trading houses dating back to the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945), when it was a center for the camphor and tea trade.

The city government said it had expected crowds to materialize on Saturday (Feb. 13), the second day of the Year of the Ox, but the sunshine and the agreeable temperatures had persuaded more people to visit early.

A similar situation occurred at a lake and at the Nantiangong temple in Longtan District, Taoyuan, which feature on a list of 20 tourist hotspots where crowd alerts are applicable, the authorities said.

Updated : 2021-04-14 22:11 GMT+08:00