TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Thousands of travelers arrived at Taitung County’s Green Island and Orchid Island Saturday (Sept. 18) at the start of the four-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.
The vacation came after a period of months with limited travel due to a domestic outbreak of COVID-19. In mid-May, the country registered around 500 local infections per day, a figure which later fell to single figures, allowing the government to drop a Level 3 alert to Level 2 at the end of July.
While the authorities still advise caution for Mid-Autumn traditions like open-air barbecues, travel is picking up again, with traffic jams on the nation’s freeways and holidaymakers lining up to board ferries to smaller islands seen Saturday, CNA reported.
The first long holiday since the end of the Level 3 alert saw 2,895 passengers travel from Taitung to Green Island, filling ferries to capacity on 13 trips. With the addition of a limited number of holidaymakers flying to the island, the total amount of visitors exceeded 3,000, CNA reported.
Further away in the Pacific on Orchid Island, about 1,000 travelers arrived on two ferries from Taitung and one from Pingtung County. Even more tourists are expected Sunday (Sept. 19).
The county government said ferry terminals and railroad stations had organized COVID rapid testing for visitors, who were also reminded that the county is not allowing barbecues in public spaces.