TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Direct ferries between Taiwan’s outlying islands and the mainland will resume during the Lunar New Year holiday, but the first phase (January 7 to February 6) will preferentially benefit Kinmen and Matsu residents. The government announced on Thursday (December 22).
Ferry services from the two islands to China’s Fujian Province ceased in February 2020 as the COVID-19 outbreak spread. While the opposition and local politicians have called for a resumption, especially to help Taiwanese businessmen planning to return home for the holidays, there are growing concerns about the rapid rise in coronavirus cases in China.
The Continental Affairs Council (MAC) said at its weekly cabinet meeting on Thursday morning that if the epidemic is brought under control, the ferry will be on holiday from Jan. 20 to Jan. 30, the Liberty Times reported. before sailing again.
Approved by the Seaport Bureau of the Ministry of Communications, there is one flight from Kinmen to Fujian every day, and two flights from Matsu to Fujian every week. Local governments will be responsible for registering passengers, who must be residents of Kinmen and Matsu, including Chinese spouses, the report said.
No decision has yet been made on what will happen to the final second phase of ferry routes after February 6, but health experts have called on the government to be cautious about reported rising cases of coronavirus infections in China as restrictions are put in place. The beginning of the month loosened up a bit.