S. Korea returns to near normalcy amid easing in social restrictions

2020.10.12 13:23:47 | 2020.10.12 13:24:33

[Photo by Yonhap]이미지 확대

[Photo by Yonhap]

South Korea has almost returned to normalcy, with the social restriction code brought down to the lowest Level 1 from Monday.

Nationwide social distancing rules were lowered to Level 1 from 2 after taking into consideration of various negative impacts of the prolonged restrictions on people’s daily life and the economy, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said in a Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters meeting on Sunday.

The average number of daily new infections has fallen to less than 60 over the past two weeks, while the virus reproduction rate dropped to below 1.

The country added 58 new Covid-19 infection cases on Sunday, keeping the daily counts under two-digit numbers for the fourth straight day.

Schools, daycare centers and academies can return to near normalcy under conditions. Classroom counts would be restricted to two-thirds of the normal level by running morning and afternoon classes.

Singing rooms and gyms will be open for business. Door-to-door direct sales will stay banned. Sports events can receive audience of up to 30 percent of stadium capacity. In-person religious services are also allowed but with limited number of attendees in the greater Seoul area.

Cap on the number of people for indoor and outdoor gatherings will be raised. But gatherings in the greater Seoul area will be required to observe stricter rules, with distance between people kept at least 2 meters apart.

The country had been under the level 2 social distancing measures since Aug. 16 after the daily Covid-19 infection cases spiked to triple digits since mid-August coincided with a massive rally that took place in central Seoul on the Liberation Day holiday on Aug. 15.

By Seo Jin-woo, Moon Gwang-min, and Cho Jeehyun

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]