Bars and pubs in the Seoul metropolitan region and Busan City should close business for a period of three weeks from Monday. People in the Seoul metropolitan region are obliged to take the Covid-19 test if and when they feel suspected symptoms.
While keeping the social distancing level intact, the government has put in place measures to strengthen control of facilities at higher risk of transmission and to require people to take preemptive testing. The government is using the measures given that people’s burden and fatigue has reached its limit amid its prolonged social distancing measures. However, critics say that the government is responding passively without any breakthrough solutions at a time when a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is looming increasingly large in Korea. The number of new confirmed cases came to 671 on Friday, topping the 600 mark once again. During the third wave last year, the number of confirmed cases jumped to 950 on the eighth day after the number surpassed the 600 mark.
As fine weather is forecast over the weekend for the first time in a month, the number of people on the move is feared to surge. “There is a risk that doubling of cases could happen within a week or two, if we consider the previous wave of the pandemic,” the Health and Welfare Ministry said. “Doubling” refers to the phenomenon where daily confirmed cases double from the previous day.
Mee-Jee Lee firstname.lastname@example.org