(ATTN: UPDATES with feedback by well being minister and particulars in para 4, 12)
SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) — South Korea on Sunday determined to implement more durable distancing rules for the higher Seoul space and the southwestern area as well being authorities attempt to stem a resurgence of the novel coronavirus.
The federal government introduced that the Degree 2 distancing, the third-highest within the nation’s five-tier COVID-19 alert system, can be utilized to the nation’s capital space, whereas North and South Jeolla Provinces can be below the Degree 1.5 distancing for 2 weeks beginning Tuesday.
Well being authorities began to implement the Degree 1.5 distancing from Thursday for the higher Seoul space, residence to half of the nation’s inhabitants, however as virus infections within the area confirmed no indicators of a letup, they determined to undertake more durable antivirus curbs.
“It is a very severe and grave state of affairs,” Well being Minister Park Neunghoo mentioned, noting the third wave of the virus outbreaks is in progress in earnest.
South Korea’s day by day caseload has stayed within the triple digits since Nov. 8, with the determine exceeding 300 for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday with 330 instances.
Between Nov. 15 and 21, the day by day common of COVID-19 instances within the higher Seoul space reached 175.1, nearing its Degree 2 standards of 200 instances. The determine can also be greater than double from the day by day common of 83 instances recorded Nov. 8-14.
“Quick unfold of the virus is in progress, and since the virus replica price is already over 1, it’s probably that the variety of virus sufferers will enhance within the higher Seoul space,” the authorities mentioned.
Underneath the Degree 2 scheme, gatherings involving 100 or extra individuals are banned, whereas some virus-prone amenities, together with nightclubs, should droop their enterprise.
Eating places are allowed to serve meals till 9 p.m., with solely takeout and supply providers accessible afterward. For cafes and occasional outlets, indoor eating shouldn’t be allowed, and so they can solely supply takeout and supply providers.
Indoor sports activities amenities, corresponding to gyms and billiard golf equipment, are required to halt their operations after 9 p.m. Public amenities might want to meet an admissions cap of 30 p.c.
Sports activities occasions are allowed to have solely 10 p.c of their most capability.
Underneath the strengthened measures, the attendance cap within the higher Seoul space is positioned at one-third of scholars in kindergartens, main faculties and center faculties whereas the cap is positioned at two-thirds of scholars in excessive faculties.
The town of Suncheon in South Jeolla Province and the county of Hadong in South Gyeongsang Province have already been implementing Degree 2 social distancing as a precautionary transfer.
The authorities additionally determined to undertake Degree 1.5 distancing measures for the nation’s southwestern Jeolla provinces.
Gwangju, the most important metropolis within the area, has already been below Degree 1.5, the second-highest within the nation’s social distancing system, since Thursday, however well being authorities identified that COVID-19 seems to be spreading quick throughout North and South Jeolla provinces.
“For the Jeolla area, the day by day common of virus instances within the latest one-week interval stood at 27.4, which is near its Degree 1.5 standards of 30 instances,” the authorities mentioned.
Individuals are nonetheless allowed to hold on with most of their day by day routines below Degree 1.5, however enterprise operators and individuals are required to observe toughened public well being rules.