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S. Korea to introduce new social distancing scheme

Posted February. 24, 2021 07:40,   

Updated February. 24, 2021 07:40


South Korea will announce a new social distancing scheme on Friday at the earliest to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. The government is also planning to introduce a new policy where businesses that violate quarantine measures will not be eligible for the fourth round of emergency relief handouts.

The Central Disaster Management Headquarters said on Tuesday that it will announce a new social distancing scheme this Friday or Saturday. The current social distancing levelsㅡLevel 2 for the Seoul metropolitan area and Level 1.5 for other regionsㅡends on Feb. 28.

With the government considering changes to the current social distancing measures, eyes are on whether the government will retain a ban on gatherings of five people or more and a 10 p.m. curfew for businesses. “It is optimistic that there were no cluster infections over the weekend but it is difficult to determine whether the number of confirmed cases is on the decline,” said Yoon Tae-ho, a spokesman for the Central Disaster Management Headquarters, adding the number of new cases has remained in the 300s for the past month. In addition to adjusting the social distancing levels, the government is reviewing ways to fundamentally improve the social distancing system but the date of the announcement has yet to be decided.

Sung-Gyu Kim sunggyu@donga.com