Daily infection totals continue to drop after restrictions ended
Korea reported 81,058 new Covid-19 infections on Friday, the second consecutive day under 100,000, and 206 deaths, after four days under 200.
Critically-ill patients totaled 833, the sixth day under 900.
"Daily infections were cut by more than 40 percent from last week, and the overall number of the critically-ill patients or deaths are also steadily going downward," Prime Minister Kim Bu-kyum said in a Covid-19 response meeting on Friday.
From Monday, eating and drinking in public facilities, such as movie theaters, gyms, trains and buses, will again be permitted
All other restrictions have been lifted, with the exception of those related to the wearing of masks. According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), masks must be worn indoors, outdoors at crowded events and when within 2 meters of another person.
A decision on masks will be made next week.
"Removal of restrictions doesn't mean that there is no danger of infection," the prime minister said. "To minimize the possibility of infection due to the relaxed measures, individuals voluntarily need to act in a precautious manner."
From Monday, Covid-19 will be rated as a Class-2 infectious disease from Class-1. People infected will still have to quarantine for seven days through May 23.
With many family-related holidays in May, such as Children's Day and Parents' Day, the government will allow family visits to some of the medical centers from April 30 to May 22. The government is encouraging fourth-round of booster shots to those over 59 who received their third vaccination more than four months ago.
BY LEE SUN-MIN [email@example.com]