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With eased restrictions, people are allowed to eat and drink indoor

With eased restrictions, people are allowed to eat and drink indoor

Posted January. 18, 2021 07:50,   

Updated January. 18, 2021 07:50


Cafes and bakeries will be allowed to reopen their doors to sit-in customers with a 9 p.m. curfew starting Monday, while takeaway will still be allowed after 9 p.m. They need to follow coronavirus restrictions such as keeping a distance between tables. A group of two and more who order deserts with their drinks are advised to stay for no longer than an hour.

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters announced Saturday that except for these changes, social distancing rules (level 2.5 in the Seoul metropolitan area and level 2 in the rest of the country) will remain in place until January 31. “We would have liked to maintain strict rules as the number of cases is still quite high,” said Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Sunday. “However, we could not turn a blind eye to the public who are experiencing pandemic fatigue and whose livelihoods are at risk.”

The new changes mean roughly 190,000 cafes, which could only offer takeaway and delivery services, will be able to open until 9 p.m.

Approximately 112,000 businesses, including karaoke bars, cram schools, concert halls and indoor sports centers and billiards clubs, will also reopen at reduced capacity, allowing only one person for every eight square meters. The same rule applies to cram schools that could receive only up to nine students at a time. Entertainment facilities as well as the so-called holdem pubs where people can play card games and party venues, on the other hand, will remain closed. Meanwhile, more than 500 people have tested positive for COVID-19 for five consecutive days, with 520 confirmed cases on Sunday.

Keun-Hyung Yoo noel@donga.com