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Indoor Mask Mandate To Be Lifted for Most Spaces from Monday

Written: 2023-01-27 15:23:39Updated: 2023-01-27 16:15:31

Indoor Mask Mandate To Be Lifted for Most Spaces from Monday

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: People in South Korea will no longer need to wear masks in most locations from Monday, when the blanket indoor mask mandate will be lifted. However, authorities continue to urge the public, especially those deemed at high risk, to get vaccine booster shots.
Choi You Sun reports. 

Report: Starting Monday, the indoor mask mandate will be eased from a requirement to a recommendation for most facilities. This includes restaurants, shopping malls, and places of work. 

However, the mandate will remain effective for high-risk facilities, such as nursing homes, hospitals, pharmacies, and on public transportation.

In line with this transition, health authorities urged those at high risk, such as seniors, people with a weakened immune system or underlying diseases, to get booster shots, if they had not done so already. 

31-thousand-711 additional people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the latest daily count on Friday, up around four-thousand compared to a week earlier. Out of the new cases, 49 were from overseas, including 20 from China.

Despite the daily case count rising on a Friday for the first time in five weeks, authorities attributed the jump to a hangover effect from less testing during the Lunar New Year holiday, and said that virus indicators show the situation in the country remains stable.

The government also announced that it will reduce the number of COVID-19-designated beds from 58-hundred to 39-hundred, as the virus reproduction number fell for the third consecutive week, remaining below one, and with the occupancy rate of intensive care beds for critically ill COVID-19 patients standing at 20-point-eight percent as of Friday. 

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization(WHO) will discuss on Friday whether to retain the status of public health emergency of international concern(PHEIC) for COVID-19, three years after its initial designation.

The decision will be based on assessments of response capabilities of the international community, the possible emergence of new variants, and the recent spike of infections in China.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

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