TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Amid a declaration of community transmission by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), Taipei City announced on Tuesday (May 11) that it will be canceling all events that involve large public gatherings with immediate effect.
During a press conference on Tuesday, the Minister of Health and Welfare and CECC Head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that with the outbreak of five local cases in Yilan and one case of unknown origin in New Taipei City, Taiwan has "entered community transmission." Chen cited the fact that five new local cases in Yilan, and one case of unknown origin in New Taipei, are unrelated to the previous China Airlines/Novotel cluster infection as evidence that the country has entered the community transmission stage.
In response, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) held a press conference that same afternoon to announce that the city's epidemic prevention level will be raised. Effective immediately and until June 8, Ko said that all activities involving 100 or more persons indoors and in excess of 500 outdoors will be canceled.
This means that all major Eid al-Fitr events scheduled for May 12 will be canceled. School graduation trips, off-campus teaching, and openings of campuses will be suspended, while graduation ceremonies will be moved online.
Meals and group activities for the elderly will be halted. Large-scale performances at Taipei Arena and Taipei Pop Music Center will be canceled or postponed.
Dance halls, hostess bars, bars, tea houses, saunas, and massage parlors will be required to implement a real-name ID registration system.
Taipei Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊) added that the city advises cinema operators to not allow more than 100 people at a time in a theater and to implement checkerboard seating. Limits on visits to hospitals and elderly care institutions will be extended to June 8.
When asked whether Taipei's night markets have any supporting facilities to maintain social distancing and whether case No. 1,203 has been to Taipei, Ko said that people who buy food at the night market can "simply take it home." Huang said that if the case had been to Taipei, the city government would know, but there is no information yet.