The 2022 Lunar New Year holidays are almost here, which will last for 11 days from January 28, 2022 to February 7, 2022. It is estimated that 854 voyages will take place during this period on the nine sailing routes between Taiwan and outlying islands, providing transportation for up to 187,105 people. In response to the transportation demand during the Lunar New Year holidays and to ensure the safety of passengers through COVID-19 prevention measures, the Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) will fully cooperate with the Central Epidemic Command Center to implement disease prevention tasks on vessels and ferry terminals. Furthermore, to maintain travel safety, the MPB has completed the comprehensive security checks for passenger ships so people may travel on ships with peace of mind.
The MPB has stated that there will be a lot of passengers going out as well as traveling back home during the Lunar New Year holidays. Though the epidemic situation in Taiwan is currently stable, the MPB is still taking things very seriously. To lower the risk of disease spreading, the MPB requires domestic passenger ships to sanitize after each voyage and terminals to sanitize once every hour. Furthermore, crucial points such as the passenger entry and exit pathways and restrooms at passenger terminals must be sanitized once every hour, and must undergo deep sanitization every day. Additionally, paper records of sanitization must be created and announcements to passengers must also be made continuously, requesting them to carry identification documents with them and cooperate with identification checks. Moreover, passengers’ temperatures will be checked and they must wear masks when entering terminals and passenger ships.
The MPB will also be rigorously implementing safety management for passenger ships. In the 5 days from December 20, 2021 to December 24, 2021, the “2022 Joint Inspection Plan for Public Safety and Operational Services of Passenger Ships and Maritime Passenger Terminals before New Year’s Day and the Lunar New Year Holidays” will be implemented. Fixed-route passenger ships and passenger terminals will be inspected comprehensively. People may use “the important passenger ship information QR code” posted at maritime terminals or on the ships to check the results of inspections through their cell phones, and if there are safety issues, they can be instantly reported online. This means that everyone can work together to keep the environment safe.
Furthermore, the Donggang to Liuqiu route sees a massive number of passengers during every long holiday, and the MPB implemented digital and smart solutions for the boarding and ticket systems for this route last year. Passengers only need to show their identification cards before boarding the ships to create a digital profile of their identity information, making ticket purchases more convenient while also meeting the requirements of epidemic prevention and protecting the rights of passengers.
In the event that passenger ships journeys are affected by force majeure such as bad weather, the MPB has requested businesses to post notices at places such as their offices and the waiting rooms, and make public announcements via multiple forms of media such as the Internet or radio broadcasts. The MPB will also post instant notices of service suspension on its official website (the Maritime and Port Bureau website http://www.motcmpb.gov.tw/, click on “public service”, check for sailing schedule information under “sailing schedules”). As a reminder, passengers going on a trip during long holidays should check the weather forecast and the latest sailing status in order to arrange or adjust itineraries ahead of time. The MPB will also initiate air-sea communication mechanisms according to metocean conditions, and will request the Civil Aeronautics Administration to send planes to transport passengers if necessary.
In case of emergency special requests during the Lunar New Year holidays, the MPB offers the following emergency service numbers: North Taiwan Maritime Affairs Center (02)89783530, Central Taiwan Maritime Affairs Center 0963-138735, South Taiwan Maritime Affairs Center (07)2620758, East Taiwan Maritime Affairs Center (03)8230172.
Contact person: Tseng Ching-Wen, Section Chief, Maritime Affairs Division
Contact number: (02)8978-6283