People who barbecue in Taipei’s riverside parks during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday would be fined up to NT$6,000, the Taipei Public Works Department said on Thursday.
Barbecuing during this year’s holiday, which is from Saturday to Tuesday, would for the first time be banned, due to COVID-19 concerns, the department said.
Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Wednesday said that barbecuing in public spaces is in general forbidden, with the exception of riverside parks during the annual holiday.
Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Taipei Times
However, that would also be forbidden this year, as the city seeks to limit large gatherings to curb the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2.
The department on Thursday said that those who are found barbecuing in riverside parks would be fined NT$1,200 to NT$6,000 on the spot, based on the Taipei City Park Management Ordinance.
However, there is doubt over whether fines would be widely enforced.
Earlier this week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that it would be impossible for police to patrol all the city’s riverside parks all night.
Huang also said that barbecuing in privately owned, but publicly used spaces, including many of the city’s roofed sidewalks, is not banned.
She urged people who are planning to barbecue in such a space to observe social distancing, or instead consider having a meal indoors.
Local governments, except for those in the outlying islands of Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu, have also banned barbecuing in public spaces during the holiday. The New Taipei City and Keelung City governments have urged people to also refrain from barbecuing on privately owned sidewalks where the ban does not apply.
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