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Special Quarantine Period Begins ahead of Chuseok Holiday

Write: 2020-09-28 14:43:15Update: 2020-09-28 15:43:15

Special Quarantine Period Begins ahead of Chuseok Holiday

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: A special two-week quarantine period has been launched in time for the Chuseok thanksgiving holidays this week. Most of the rules under Level Two social distancing will remain in place but the government is making sure that the four-day festivities will not lead to any mass gatherings.
Choi You Sun reports.

Report: At a daily coronavirus briefing on Monday, Ministry of Health and Welfare Spokesperson Son Young-rae urged the public not to travel to their hometowns during the upcoming holiday.

[Sound bite: Son Young-rae - Health Ministry Official (Korean)]
"The Chuseok holiday is just a few days away. We're sorry for having to ask the public to refrain from valuable interactions of checking up on family and sharing mutual feelings when members gather for the first time in a long time. But we're all aware of waves of the COVID-19 epidemic and aftereffects from mass movements of people during past holiday seasons in May and in August. How well we manage quarantine in the upcoming holiday will determine the direction of the epidemic in the fall and winter."

The government advised the public to utilize internet communication.

[Sound bite: Son Young-rae - Health Ministry Spokesperson (Korean/English Translation)] 
"We again ask everyone to minimize movement by refraining from visiting hometowns and other travel during the holiday and to stay in touch via non-contact methods and rest at home, where it is safe. We particularly ask families with elderly members to take extra caution in movements and gatherings. The fatality rate for COVID-19 is noticeably higher among those in their 60s and older." 

During the two-week special quarantine period before and after the four-day long weekend beginning Wednesday, the government is making sure that the seasonal festivities will not lead to any mass gatherings.

[Sound bite: Son Young-rae - Health Ministry Spokesperson (Korean/English Translation)]
"The government has designated the next two weeks until October 11 as a special quarantine period in time for the Chuseok holiday and enhanced social distancing accordingly. And today is the first day. While maintaining key measures under nationwide Level Two distancing, we will enforce more thorough and effective quarantine steps considering the risk level by facility and region. Events such as town feasts and regional festivals involving more than 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors will be banned, while multipurpose facilities like public bathhouses, cram schools and arcades will have to continue adhering to quarantine rules, including mandatory mask use."

Shutdown orders for eleven types of facilities deemed to carry high risk for infection in the capital region, including karaoke rooms and indoor gyms, will be maintained, while restaurants and franchise coffee shops will need to keep a certain distance between seats.

Outside the capital area, one-week operation bans will be in place for five types of "high-risk" facilities, including clubs and bars.

Violators will face a fine of up to three million won, as well as indemnity claims should anyone test positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, eating inside expressway service areas will be banned from Tuesday to Sunday, with only takeout being allowed.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

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