TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The COVID-19 surge that began earlier this month is taking a toll on the country's economy, with shops closing in Greater Taipei and the dining industry taking a hit nationwide.
Real estate company Ubee indicated that the number of online postings for available shopfronts in New Taipei and Taipei has soared by 1,000 in just three weeks, a rise of 20 percent. The two cities introduced a Level 3 COVID alert on May 15, with the measure extended to the whole country on May 19.
Taipei’s Daan District and New Taipei’s Luzhou, Banqiao, and Yonghe districts are among the areas where the most shops are shuttering due to the recent pandemic woes. Shopfront lease rates in the two cities have been down 3 to 4 percent on average, and “COVID hot deals” have sprung up on property rental websites as a way to woo lessees, wrote UDN.
Meanwhile, restaurants and eateries are bearing the brunt of the impact, as people are advised to stay home. The industry is being dealt another blow in the wake of cities and counties imposing dine-in bans starting this week.
Smart food and beverage platform iCHEF pointed out that the average daily sales in the restaurant sector have dropped 74 percent compared to April in the week following the implementation of Level 3 restrictions. The statistics are based on an analysis of data from 7,000 eateries nationwide between May 17 and 23, reported CNA.