Movie theaters, sports centers, gyms, scenic spots and amusement parks across Taiwan reopened after two months yesterday as some COVID-19 restrictions were eased, but crowds generally stayed away.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) last week extended a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert to July 26, but said that some restrictions would be eased, including the reopening of movie theaters, gyms, sports centers, cultural facilities, national scenic areas and amusement parks, although with limited capacity to maintain social distancing.
However, most of the affected venues drew few people yesterday.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Vieshow Cinema, the largest movie theater chain in Taiwan, said that few people bought tickets, although it attributed the low attendance to it being a weekday.
Moreover, Taoyuan and New Taipei City did not allow movie theaters to open.
Even if theaters are allowed to open, eating and drinking are not allowed, while seating restrictions are being enforced.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Sales were expected to improve today, with the first showings of Marvel’s Black Widow, Vieshow said.
New Taipei City and Taoyuan were also the only two of the six special municipalities that maintained bans on gyms and sports centers reopening.
However, publicly run sports centers in Taipei began to open at 5am yesterday, said Lee Jung-chin (李榮晉), director of the Taipei Department of Sports’ sports industry division, adding that most private gyms in Taipei reopened to members early yesterday.
In Taichung, movie theaters and gyms reopened, although attendance was sparse.
Gyms and movie theater operators said that they expected more people in the next few days once people got used to the changes.
The Tainan City Government said that only one of the 13 movie theaters there opened, with others waiting until today or later this month to see if the central government lifts the nationwide alert.
In Kaohsiung, 30, 18 and 62 people were at the Chungcheng Stadium, the Sanmin Tennis Courts and the Chungshan Tennis Courts respectively as of 10am, the city government said.
The Taipei Zoo and Taipei Children’s Amusement Park remained closed.
Few people visited reopened scenic spots in New Taipei City.
City authorities said that the sites are limited to 40 percent of their normal capacity and no eating is allowed.
They pledged to close them if too many people show up at once.
Taoyuan’s Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫), a major tourism site, was one of the few well-attended spots.
Three of Taiwan’s biggest amusement parks — Janfusun Fancyworld in Yunlin County, Lihpao Discovery Land in Taichung and Farglory Ocean Park in Hualien — said that about 100 visitors had entered each of their reopened parks as of noon.
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