《TAIPEI TIMES》 Police patrol risky venues nationwide
Tainan police Friday night patrol a gaming arcade to ensure that disease prevention measures are being followed. Photo courtesy of Tainan City Police Department
DISEASE PREVENTION: Police on Friday night conducted sweeps of 4,577 premises such as KTV parlors, hostess bars and nightclubs, and continued checks last night
By Jason Pan / Staff reporter
Police have been sweeping nightclubs, KTV parlors and entertainment premises nationwide following an increase in domestic COVID-19 cases.
National Police Agency （NPA） Director-General Chen Ja-chin （陳家欽） has ordered that all city and county-level police departments report to their respective city mayor and county commissioner to plan sweeps of entertainment premises and similar establishments.
Several cities, including New Taipei City, Taipei and Taoyuan, have ordered the temporary closure of the “eight major special establishment categories,” which include nightclubs, hostess and karaoke bars, teahouses and saunas.
From Friday night through the early hours of yesterday morning, authorities conducted checks on 4,577 premises in major cities and counties — of which 1,363 had already closed for business — and fined 131 premises for contravening disease prevention measures, NPA data showed.
In line with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s announcement earlier yesterday that it was raising the COVID-19 alert level for Taipei and New Taipei City to level 3 for two weeks, additional businesses in the municipalities in which people are unable to keep a safe social distance have been asked to shut temporarily. They include fitness centers and gyms, bowling alleys, billiard halls, indoor golf simulator centers, mahjong halls, indoor shrimp fishing halls and amusement centers.
Taipei police last night patrolled and conducted spot checks in Xinyi District （信義） and along Linsen N Road, where there are a large number of entertainment premises and nightclubs.
Locals reported darkened streets, in contrast with the usual bright neon signs and throngs of people.
Police officials said they are working to ensure that businesses that fall under the eight categories are not operating behind closed doors.
As of early yesterday evening, most businesses were following the order, officials said.
Most precincts carried out similar operations in New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan and other major cities.