Level 2 restrictions, with few exceptions, to remain in place over Chuseok
But there are a few changes.
Public institutes such as museums and libraries, which were closed under Level 2 of the three-tier social distancing system, will reopen nationwide, though a limited number of people will be allowed to enter at a time.
Outside the greater Seoul area, clubs and bars that involve dancing and table-hopping will be forced to shut from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4, and local government offices, unlike before, won't be offered leeway to open them. From Oct. 5 to 11, each local government office will be able to decide whether to keep entertainment businesses closed in their area. Door-to-door sales businesses must stay closed from Sept. 28 to Oct. 11, during which local government offices cannot allow them to open.
In the greater Seoul area, the aforementioned places plus several other types of "high-risk businesses" — where people have higher risks of contracting the coronavirus due to their crowded environments — will remain shut until Oct. 11. They include noraebang (singing rooms), buffets and indoor fitness centers involving “intense” group exercises.
Eating in internet cafes will be allowed again nationwide, though minors still aren't allowed to use the facilities.
The other restrictions imposed nationwide until Oct. 11 are practically the same as those in the Level 2 social distancing system.
Indoor meetings involving 50 people or more and outdoor meetings involving 100 people or more will be banned, sports games will be held without spectators, and other businesses where people tend to keep a short distance from one another, such as theaters and coffee shops, must space out their customers and require them to wear face masks.
Central health authorities have declared a so-called Special Prevention Period from Sept. 28 to Oct. 11 as they brace for the Chuseok holidays, set to kick off next Wednesday. Concerned that people may spread the virus to their relatives and loved ones, officials have warned the public not to leave their homes this year, especially given the recent rise in daily coronavirus cases.
Korea added 114 new cases Thursday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) announced Friday morning, down from 125 the day before. It was the third day in a row that daily cases were in the triple-digits.
BY LEE SUNG-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]