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S. Korea Unveils 5-level Social Distancing Scheme

Written: 2020-11-02 08:36:16Updated: 2020-11-02 09:36:59

S. Korea Unveils 5-level Social Distancing Scheme

Photo : YONHAP News

The government has revised three-tier social distancing rules to a five-level scheme in response to the persistent coronavirus. 

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters on Sunday unveiled the revised scheme, which will break up the current three levels into One, One-point-Five, Two, Two-point-Five and Three.

The government has decided to apply stricter criteria for raising the levels, while enforcing quarantine measures in a tailored fashion at the regional rather than national level . 

The new scheme will take effect from Saturday.

For Level One, there have to be fewer than 100 new COVID-19 infection cases a day in the metro area on average over the span of one week, and fewer than 30 on average in other regions.

The government will raise the level by one notch to Level One-Point-Five if the weekly average in the capital region tops 100 and there are ten to 30 infections in other regions. Level Two is enforced when cases surpass 200 in the Seoul metro region and 60 elsewhere.  

Level Two-point-Five will take effect if there are more than 400 cases, and Level 3 when there are over 800.

The government also classified multi-use facilities into nine types of "priority" facilities and 14 types of "regular" sites. 

Priority facilities include bars, clubs, karaoke rooms, indoor concert halls, restaurants and coffee shops, while regular facilities include internet cafes wedding halls, funeral homes, concert halls and movie theaters. 

Mask wearing and other key rules that were previously mandatory only at "high-risk" facilities will now apply to all facilities from Level One. 

Five types of entertainment facilities such as bars and clubs will be banned from Level Two, while the other multi-use facilities should close from Level Two-point-Five. 

At Level Three, the nation will effectively be placed under lockdown.

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