《TAIPEI TIMES》 Taipei to reopen public facilities next week
Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporter
Taipei is to reopen public facilities starting on Monday next week under three conditions, and allow indoor and outdoor events with fewer than 250 and 1,000 people respectively, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang （黃珊珊） yesterday.
The three conditions are practicing social distancing measures or wearing a mask if the proper distance cannot be kept, enforcing a real-name registration system for indoor activities and prohibiting meal sharing, Huang said.
All municipal facilities would resume operations under those principles, with the exception of school campuses, she said.
School campuses at high-school level and below would remain closed to the public to protect student health, but would be opened during the summer vacation, she added.
Before opening, the city is to publicize public facilities undergoing construction work or not ready to reopen.
The city government is also loosening the restrictions on the size of large events, expanding the maximum number of people at indoor events from 100 to 250 and from 500 to 1,000 at outdoor events, Huang said, adding that events expecting to host more people must apply to the city in advance.
For the annual Dragon Boat Festival, set for June 25 and 26, she said that on-land activities and the dragon boat tryouts have been canceled, but the Taipei International Dragon Boat Championship would still be held, with the races streamed online, as the site would not be opened to the public.
Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs Director-General Tsai Tsung-hsiung （蔡宗雄） said that cultural and arts performances have been hit financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, as they sell fewer tickets to adhere with social distancing regulations.
Therefore, the city government is offering significant discounts for cultural and arts performance organizers to rent venues, he said, adding that he hopes the plan would get artists back on stage and attract audiences.
Huang said that the city would offer a 90 percent discount to rent a venue if ticket sales exceed 45 percent of the available seats, an 80 percent discount if sales exceed 40 percent, a 70 percent discount if sales exceed 30 percent and a 60 percent discount if sales are below 30 percent.
“The city government thinks that the cultural and arts industry needs ticket sales rather than relief payments,” she said, adding that the discount plan would help performers and allow people to enjoy the arts safely while practicing disease prevention measures.