A senior South Korean government official reiterated plans to ease social distancing in phases as the nation transitions into a system that focuses more on managing severe COVID-19 cases over containing the spread of new ones.
At an event hosted by the Korea Broadcasting Journalists Club on Tuesday, Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said it could be difficult to further extend the current distancing levels.
Since mid-July, the highest Level Four has been in place for the capital region and Level Three in other areas.
With over 90 percent of seniors and 80 percent of all adults set to complete vaccination by late October, the minister said the shift will likely begin in early November, considering the two-week term before efficacy kicks in.
Referring to Britain and Germany, where quarantine has been eased for those fully vaccinated or those who tested negative post-recovery, the minister said the government will consult with experts on gradual ways to normalize daily routines.
Officials are reviewing initially easing rules for private gatherings among those fully vaccinated and business operations at multipurpose facilities, as well as adopting a vaccine pass system.