Ballparks might reopen for spectators as baseball is to return to Taipei next week, after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday announced that it would ease some disease prevention measures.
CPBL commissioner Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) yesterday said that a plan for opening ballparks is pending approval by the CECC.
If approved, fans would be able to fill ballparks at 25 percent capacity for two league games on Tuesday in Taichung and Taoyuan, he said, adding that the plan has been approved by the two city governments and the Sports Administration.
On Friday, the Wei Chuan Dragons are to face off against the Uni-President Lions at Taipei Tianmu Stadium, the season’s first game in the capital since a COVID-19 outbreak forced the league to alter the season’s schedule, Tsai said, adding that the Taipei City Government has approved the event.
However, it is still unclear whether reporters would be allowed at the field, he said.
The CPBL season was suspended in the middle of May when the CECC imposed a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert. Games resumed on Tuesday last week without live audiences.
League officials said they have successfully conducted the games under level 3 measures to curb the spread of the virus among players, team staff and officials.
If the plan is approved, disease prevention measures would include checking all spectators’ temperatures upon entry, registering their identities and socially distanced seating, except for members of the same family, league officials said.
Wearing masks would be required, even when shouting slogans and singing to cheer on the players, although not for eating and drinking items purchased outside the ballparks, they added.
Traditional baseball fan rallies involving drums and trumpets would not be allowed, as all musical instruments would be temporarily banned inside venues, they said.
In the CPBL’s only game on Friday, former Red Sox pitcher Felix Doubront picked up his first win in Taiwan, sailing through seven innings to yield only one run in the Lions’ 3-2 win over the Fubon Guardians.
The Lions have a two-game lead over the CTBC Brothers.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s soccer governing body is negotiating with local governments over the resumption of the men’s Taiwan Football Premier League and the women’s Taiwan Mulan Football League seasons.
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