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Gov't Extends Current Social Distancing, Eases Restrictions on Cafes, Gyms

Write: 2021-01-16 10:56:31Update: 2021-01-16 13:38:16

Gov't Extends Current Social Distancing, Eases Restrictions on Cafes, Gyms

Photo : YONHAP News

The government has decided to extend the current Level 2.5 social distancing for the Seoul metropolitan area and Level 2 for all other regions by two more weeks.

A ban on personal gatherings of five or more people and restriction on business operations past 9 p.m. will also be maintained.

However, indoor gyms, cram schools and karaoke will be allowed to reopen on the condition they strictly follow antivirus measures.

Restrictions on cafes and religious facilities will also be eased starting Monday.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Saturday announced these new adjustments to social distancing, saying that reducing person-to-person contact has been effective in curbing the spread.

He said the government thought hard about how to strike a balance between tightening restrictions to quickly restore normal life and mitigating the suffering of small businesses and social fatigue caused by quarantine measures.

Chung  asked people to refrain from traveling during next month's Lunar New Year holiday, saying the priority should be on reducing contact to ensure the health and safety of relatives.

The prime minister added that he is aware the new measures will not allow for a return to normal life or alleviate the concerns of small business owners, but noted that COVID-19 vaccines and treatments to be introduced from next month will provide another source of relief.

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