South Korean quarantine authorities warn the current social distancing regime may be upgraded into a more stringent one should a recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases continue.
Kwon Joon-wook, deputy director of the Central Quarantine Countermeasures Headquarters, said in a briefing on Thursday that further aggravation of the situation will likely re-necessitate some limits on daily lives.
He said authorities are watching developments with a sense of crisis, worrying that more rigorous social distancing rules could become inevitable.
Under the guidelines, the current first-level social distancing rules will be replaced by more demanding second-level ones if the daily number of local infections surpass 50 and by the highest third-level ones if the comparative figure goes over 100.
Kwon cautioned that the current situation in the greater Seoul area appears to be more serious than the second wave of the pandemic that started in Seoul's Itaewon district in May as there are more untraceable sources of transmissions and cases of asymptomatic or barely symptomatic spreaders.
Noting that the remaining vacation season and the upcoming three-day holiday through Monday could give the virus more chances to spread, the deputy director urged the public to refrain from holding gatherings for the time being.