Crowd management enforced at scenic and popular areas: CECC

One of Taiwan's night markets / CNA photo used for illustrative purposes only

TAIPEI (CNA) — Crowd measurement measures are to be introduced at scenic and popular areas around Taiwan starting Friday, in an effort to slow down the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19 disease, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

Night markets, traditional markets and shopping areas are required to enforce social distancing, and have only one point of entry, according to command center deputy Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), at a daily CECC press conference.

In addition, all free food samples must be canceled, while vendors and customers will be required to wear masks at all times, Chen said.

“If a safe distance cannot be created between seated customers, then a partition board should be used,” Chen said. “For the most popular vendors, markings should be displayed on the ground to ensure people keep a safe distance when lining up.”

The Ministry of Economic Affairs will release a demonstration video in the near future to help vendors and store operators, Chen added.

Crowd control measures will also be implemented in Taiwan’s six main amusement parks by reducing entry to 50 percent of maximum capacity, the CECC said.

As for national scenic areas, national parks, and national forest recreation areas, control measures will be tailored to meet different needs, but all neighboring car parks will also limit the number of parked vehicles to 50 percent, Chen said.

Meanwhile, hotels should limit room occupancy to under 60 percent, Chen said, adding that temples have also been asked to implement measures to prevent overcrowding.

The crowd management measures have been introduced out of an abundance of caution and concerns over a possible hike in coronavirus infections after large numbers of people visited scenic areas across Taiwan during the four-day Tomb Sweeping Festival last weekend.

The public is reminded to keep a distance of 1.5 meters indoors and over 1 meters outdoors, and wear masks, while practicing good personal hygiene and etiquette to protect themselves and those around them, the CECC said.

On Friday, Taiwan recorded two new infections, bringing the total to 382 since the virus emerged in China at the end of last year, according to CECC statistics.