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2021 Taipei International Book Exhibition moves online amid concerns over COVID-19

  • Date:2021-01-20
2021 Taipei International Book Exhibition moves online amid concerns over COVID-19

The Ministry of Culture announced on Jan. 20 that the physical Taipei International Book Exhibition originally slated for Jan. 26-31 will be cancelled, while the virtual events, launched on Dec. 29, 2020, will continue. The ministry came to the decision after thorough consultation and discussion with the Taipei Book Fair Foundation (TBFF).

In light of the latest domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has reminded event organizers to evaluate the necessity of holding events and to weigh up the risks accordingly.

The TBFF indicated that, along with all the publishers, it has put in many resources in organizing the book exhibition, and, at the same time, it has also taken precautionary measures against the pandemic.

The foundation would hope that the event will proceed as scheduled, in view that hosting the world's first book exhibition at a time when the pandemic is rampaging globally could signify Taiwan as an exemplary nation in tackling the coronavirus and also help shine a spotlight on the country.

The MOC pointed out that despite of the fact that the ministry and the TBFF have mapped out detailed pandemic preventive plan to enforce rigorous precautionary measures, including crowd size limits, contact tracing, mask mandate, constant disinfection, and less interactive exhibits, there will still be difficulties in maintaining social distancing within the confines of the exhibition or regulating visitors' length of stay.

Fully acknowledging the position of the TBFF and its efforts in preparing, the MOC, nevertheless, has decided to cancel the physical exhibition, while the virtual counterpart will still proceed.

The MOC stated that it will pair up with the TBFF to guarantee the rights of both the public and the participating units, by granting full refunds for pre-purchased tickets and returning the exhibition booth rentals, as well as providing compensations for preparation costs.

The MOC vowed that it will join hands with publishers to promote reading through various programs to cultivate reading habit among the public.