Taipei 101 to resume normal business hours in June

CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taipei 101, one of the leading shopping centers in Taiwan, said Thursday that as the country has done so well at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease, its shopping mall will resume normal business hours from June after reducing operations for the past two months.

In response to calls from the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) for people in Taiwan to increase social activity but maintain social distancing and wear face masks in public, as concerns over the virus spread have eased, Taipei 101, a major tourism attraction, will open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Friday to Sunday, starting June 1.

The shopping center cut its business hours by 1.5 to 2 hours a day from April 6, by opening from noon to 9 p.m. every day amid concerns over the contagion.

Housed in Taiwan’s tallest skyscraper, the shopping mall was the first in Taiwan to reduce operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has heavily affected business in Taipei’s bustling Xinyi District.

However, as concerns have eased, Taiwan has seen a recovery in retail sales with revenue posted by department stores rising as the number of visitors has risen about 80 percent from recent lows during the pandemic.

Thanks to the efforts of frontline medical personnel and everyone in Taiwan to contain the virus, Taipei 101 said concerns over consumers engaging in outdoors activities have fallen.

Consumers will also be able to eat at restaurants in Taipei 101 with social distancing measures in place to keep them safe, according to the shopping mall.

Although two prominent watch exhibitions — Baselworld and Watches & Wonders Geneva — were canceled in Switzerland due to the contagion, Taipei 101 said international luxury watch and jewelry brands have decided to go ahead with an annual exhibition in the shopping mall from July 2-12, ahead of the events’ usual September date, citing Taiwan’s excellent performance at limiting the spread of the virus.

On Thursday, Taiwan confirmed its first imported COVID-19 case in two weeks, bringing total infections to 441 since the outbreak began in late 2019. However, no local infections have been reported for 39 days.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 5,021,902 people in 187 countries and regions, including 1,575,065 in the United States, 308,705 in Russia, 271,628 in Brazil, 251,290 in the United Kingdom, and 232,555 in Spain, with a total of 327,141 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Thursday.