The New Taipei City Government yesterday reinstated bans on dine-in services for all eateries across the municipality, effective today, as well as closing sports facilities due to a cluster of infections reported at a preschool in Banciao District (板橋).
The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday confirmed that the infections are the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2.
All eateries — restaurants, convenience stores, markets and night markets — are to observe bans on dine-in services from today until Wednesday next week, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) told a news conference.
Photo: Wang Shan-yen, Taipei Times
Indoor sports centers, baseball and softball fields, ice skating rinks, athletics tracks, basketball and tennis courts, and swimming pools would be shut for a week, Hou said.
The New Taipei City Government would be monitoring the COVID-19 situation and making decisions based on the situation going forward, Hou added.
Arts and humanities locations are also to be shut, the maximum number of people allowed to gather outdoors would be decreased and the maximum number of tourists allowed at scenic spots would be halved, the New Taipei City Government said.
Public pools at hot springs, camping grounds, and pools, gyms and children’s playgrounds at hotels are also being closed, it said.
Separately yesterday, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that the Taipei City Government would not follow New Taipei City’s lead and implement similar measures.
There have not been any confirmed infections of the Delta variant in Taipei and this is the working premise why the capital would not be implementing stricter pandemic protocols, Ko said.
Dine-in services would not be banned, but it is advisable for people to use takeout services, he said.
Meanwhile, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said that the city has implemented a heightened level 2 alert.
The Central Epidemic Command Center required Taoyuan to enter the heightened level 2 alert on Friday last week after it identified a cluster of infections of the Delta variant among EVA Airways pilots and one of the pilot’s son.
The Taoyuan City Government is decreasing the number of people allowed to gather in groups, issue a general cancelation of all Mid-Autumn Festival events, stepping up crowd control measures at hypermarkets and banning barbecues in public areas, Cheng said.
While the municipality still has sufficient beds across 11 hospitals, it has asked the Taoyuan Department of Health to conduct an inventory on its available beds, quarantine wards and pandemic prevention equipment, he said.
Outdoor education programs have been canceled and preschools must teach classes in shifts, Cheng said, adding that parents are not allowed to enter schools.
Additional reporting by Hsieh Wu-hsiung
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